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Table of Contents

Title 2: Crimes Against the Fundamental Law of the State.............................................................. 7 Art. 124: Arbitrary Detention ....................................................................................................... 7 Milo v. Salanga (G.R. No. L-37007)........................................................................................... 7 Cayao v. Del Mundo (A.M. No. MTJ-93-813) ........................................................................... 9 Astorga v. People (G.R. No. 154130)...................................................................................... 11 Art. 125: Delay in the Delivery of Detained Persons to the Proper Judicial Authorities ........... 13 People vs. Garcia (G.R. No. 126252) ...................................................................................... 13 Jasper Agbay vs. Deputy Ombudsman for Military (G.R. No. 134503) .................................. 15 Title 3: Crimes Against Public Order .............................................................................................. 17 Art.134: Rebellion or Insurrection ............................................................................................. 17 People vs. Silongan (G.R. No. 137182) ................................................................................... 17 Enrile vs. Amin (G.R. No. 93335) ............................................................................................ 18 People vs. Manglallan (G.R. No. L-38538) .............................................................................. 19 Title 4: Crimes Against Public Interest ........................................................................................... 21 Art. 168: Illegal Possession and Use of False Treasury or Bank Notes and Other Instruments of Credit.......................................................................................................................................... 21 Tecson v. CA (370 SCRA 181) ................................................................................................. 21 Art. 171: Falsification by Public Officer, Employee; or Notary or Ecclesiastical Minister.......... 23 Art. 172: Falsification by Private Individuals and Use of Falsified Documents .......................... 23 Amora v. CA (155 SCRA 388) .................................................................................................. 23 Pajelga V. Scareal (167 SCRA 350) ......................................................................................... 25 Recebido v. People (346 SCRA 88) ......................................................................................... 27 Art. 183: Perjury ......................................................................................................................... 29 Villanueva vs. Secretary of Justice (475 SCRA 495)................................................................ 29 Acuna vs. Deputy Ombudsman (450 SCRA 237) .................................................................... 31 Choa vs. People (299 SCRA 145) ............................................................................................ 33 Art. 185: Machinations in Public Auctions ................................................................................. 35 Ouano v. CA............................................................................................................................ 35 Art. 201: Immoral Doctrines, Obscene Publications and Exhibitions, and Indecent Shows ...... 37 Iglesia ni Kristo v. CA (G.R. No. 119673) ................................................................................ 37 Pita v. CA (G.R. No. 80806)..................................................................................................... 39 Fernando v. CA (G.R. No. 159751) ......................................................................................... 41 Title 7: Crimes Committed by Public Officers ................................................................................ 43 Art. 204: Knowingly Rendering Unjust Judgment ...................................................................... 43 Diego v. Castillo (A.M. No. RTJ-02-1673) ............................................................................... 43 Vuitton v. Villanueva (A.M. No. MTJ-92-643) ........................................................................ 45

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Buenavista v. Garcia (A.M. No. RTJ-88-246) .......................................................................... 47 Art. 206: Unjust Interlocutory Order ......................................................................................... 50 Layola v. Judge Gabo, Jr. (323 SCRA 348) .............................................................................. 50 Art. 211: Indirect Bribery ........................................................................................................... 53 Formilleza v. Sandiganbayan (G.R. No. 149152) .................................................................... 53 Art. 212: Corruption of Public Officials ...................................................................................... 55 Chua vs. Nuestro (A.M. No. P-88-256) ................................................................................... 55 Art. 217: Malversation of Public Funds or Property .................................................................. 56 Davalos v. People (G.R. No. 145229) ..................................................................................... 56 People v. Uy (G.R. No. 157399) .............................................................................................. 60 Chan v. Sandiganbayan (G. R. No. 149613)............................................................................ 63 Art. 220: Illegal Use of Public Funds or Property ....................................................................... 65 Tetangco v. Ombudsman (G.R. No. 156427) ......................................................................... 65 Abdulla v. People (G.R. No. 150129) ...................................................................................... 67 Parungao v. Sandiganbayan (G.R. No. 96025) ....................................................................... 69 Title 8: Crimes Againt Persons ....................................................................................................... 71 Art. 247: Death or Physical Injuries Inflicted under Exceptional Circumstances ....................... 71 People v. Gelaver ................................................................................................................... 71 People v. Amamongpong ....................................................................................................... 73 People v. Oyanib .................................................................................................................... 75 Art. 248: Murder ........................................................................................................................ 77 People vs Mallari (G.R. No. 145993) ...................................................................................... 77 People vs Gonzales (G.R. No. 139542) ................................................................................... 79 People vs Avecilla (G.R. No. 117033) ..................................................................................... 81 Art. 249: Homicide ..................................................................................................................... 83 Navarro vs Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 121087)..................................................................... 83 People vs Ullep (G.R. No. 132547) ......................................................................................... 85 People vs Antonio (G.R. No. 128900)..................................................................................... 87 Art. 251: Death Caused in a Tumultous Affray .......................................................................... 89 People v. Anecito Unlagada y Suanque (G.R. No. 141080) .................................................... 89 Sison vs. People (G.R. No. 108280-83) ................................................................................... 91 People v. Cresenciano Maramara (G.R. No. 110994) ............................................................ 94 Art. 254: Discharge of Firearms ................................................................................................. 96 Dado v. People (G.R. No. 131421).......................................................................................... 96 Art. 257: Unintentional Abortion ............................................................................................... 99 People v. Salufrania (G.R. No. L-50884) ................................................................................. 99 People v. Genoves (G.R. No. L-42819) ................................................................................. 101 Art 266: Slight Physical Injuries and Maltreatment ................................................................. 102 Kingston(e) Li v. People and CA (G.R. No. 127962) .............................................................. 102 2|Page

Art. 266-A: Rape ....................................................................................................................... 104 People v. Hermocilla (G.R. No. 175830)............................................................................... 104 People v. Basquez (G.R No. 144035) .................................................................................... 106 People v. Oga (G.R. No. 152302) .......................................................................................... 107 Title 9: Crimes Against Personal Liberty and Security ................................................................. 109 Art. 267: Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention ................................................................. 109 People v. Ejandra (G.R. No. 134203) .................................................................................... 109 People v. Silongan y Linandang (G.R. No. 137182) .............................................................. 113 People v. Castro (G.R. No. 132726)...................................................................................... 116 Art. 268: Slight Illegal Detention .............................................................................................. 118 People v. Dadles (G.R. Nos. 118620-21) .............................................................................. 118 People v. Llaguno (G.R. No. 91262) ..................................................................................... 120 People v. Roluna (G.R. No. 101797) ..................................................................................... 122 Art. 270: Kidnapping and Failure to Return a Minor ............................................................... 124 People v. Rubi-Rosa Pastrana (G.R. No. 143644) ................................................................. 124 People v. Teresa Bernardo (G.R. No. 144316) ..................................................................... 126 People v. Vicente Ty and Carmen Ty (G.R. No. 121519) ...................................................... 128 Art. 287: Light Coercions .......................................................................................................... 130 Baleros v. People (G.R. No. 138099) .................................................................................... 130 Ong Chiu Kwan vs. CA (G.R. No. 113006) ............................................................................. 132 Title 10: Crimes Aganst Property ................................................................................................. 133 Art. 293: Robbery ..................................................................................................................... 133 People v. Romeo Apolinario and Antonio Rivera (G.R. No. 97426) ..................................... 133 People v. Calixto Zinampan, Artemio Apostol, Roger Allan (at large), and Elvis Doca (G.R. No. 126781).......................................................................................................................... 135 People v. Donato Del Rosario (G.R. No. 13106) ................................................................... 137 Art. 308: Theft .......................................................................................................................... 139 Laurel v. Abrogar (G.R. No. 155076) .................................................................................... 139 Alfonso D. Gaviola v. People G.R. No. 163297 ..................................................................... 144 Santos v. People (G.R. No. 77429) ....................................................................................... 146 Art. 310: Qualified Theft .......................................................................................................... 149 People v. Salonga (G.R. No. 131131) ................................................................................... 149 Roque v. People (G.R. No. 138954)...................................................................................... 152 People v. Bustinera (G. R. No. 148233) ................................................................................ 157 Art. 312: Occupation of Real Property or Usurpation of Real Rights in Property ................... 162 Quinao v. People (335 SCRA 741) ........................................................................................ 162 Art. 315: Estafa......................................................................................................................... 164 Ong v. People (G.R. No. 165275) ......................................................................................... 164 Chua v. People (G.R. Nos. 150926 and 30) .......................................................................... 167 3|Page

Gonzaludo v. People (G.R. No. 150910) ............................................................................... 169 Art. 318: Other Deceits ............................................................................................................ 172 Jaime Guinhawa vs. People (G.R. No. 162822) .................................................................... 172 Title 11: Crimes against Chastity .................................................................................................. 175 Art. 333, 334: Adultery and Concubinage ................................................................................ 175 Beltran v. People (G.R. No. 137567) .................................................................................... 175 Vera Neri v. People (G.R. No. 96602) ................................................................................... 177 Art. 338: Simple Seduction ...................................................................................................... 179 People v. Pascua (GR No. 128159-62).................................................................................. 179 People v. Teodosio (GR. No. 97496) .................................................................................... 182 Art. 344: Prosecution of the Crimes of Adultery, Concubinage, Seduction, Abduction, Rape and Acts of Lasciviousness .............................................................................................................. 186 Beltran v. People (334 SCRA 106) ........................................................................................ 186 People v. Tipay (329 SCRA 52) ............................................................................................. 188 Alonte v. Savellano (287 SCRA 245) ..................................................................................... 190 Art.336: Acts of Lasciviousness ................................................................................................ 192 Amployo vs. People (457 SCRA 340) .................................................................................... 192 People vs. Collado (353 SCRA 381) ...................................................................................... 194 Dulla vs. Court of Appeals (326 SCRA 32) ............................................................................ 196 Art. 337: Qualified Seduction ................................................................................................... 197 People v. Javier (G.R. No. 126096) ....................................................................................... 197 People v. Manansala (G.R. Nos. 110974-81)........................................................................ 199 People v. Alvarez (G.R. No. L-34644) ................................................................................... 202 Art. 342: Forcible Abduction .................................................................................................... 205 People vs. Egan (GR No. 139338) ......................................................................................... 205 People vs. Ablaneda (G.R. No. 131914) ............................................................................... 209 People vs. Sabrado (G.R. No. 126114) ................................................................................. 211 Art. 349: Bigamy....................................................................................................................... 215 Diego v. Castillo .................................................................................................................... 215 Abunado v. People ............................................................................................................... 216 Cacho v. People .................................................................................................................... 217 Title 13: Crimes against Honor ..................................................................................................... 219 Art. 353: Libel ........................................................................................................................... 219 Fermin v. People (G.R. No. 157643)..................................................................................... 219 Magno v. People (G.R. No. 133896) ..................................................................................... 225 Buatis v. People (G.R. No. 142509) ...................................................................................... 231 Art. 358: Slander ...................................................................................................................... 236 Villanueva v. People (G.R. No. 160351) ............................................................................... 236 Caal v. People (G.R. No. 163181) ....................................................................................... 238 4|Page

Pader v. People (G.R. No. 139157) ....................................................................................... 239 Title 14: Quasi-Offenses ............................................................................................................... 240 Art. 365: Imprudence and Negligence ..................................................................................... 240 Loney vs. People (G.R. No. 152644) ..................................................................................... 240 Abueva vs. People (G.R. No. 134387) .................................................................................. 242 People v. De los Santos (G.R. No. 131588) .......................................................................... 244 Anti-Wiretapping Act (R.A. No. 4200) .......................................................................................... 247 Socorro D. Ramirez vs. CA and Ester S. Garcia (G.R. No. 93833) ......................................... 247 Felipe Navarro vs. CA and People (G.R. No. 121087) .......................................................... 249 Edgardo A. Gaanan vs. IAC and People (G.R. No. L- 69809) ................................................ 251 Anti-Carnapping Law (R.A. 6539) ................................................................................................. 254 People v. Bustinera (G.R. No. 148233)................................................................................. 254 People v. Garcia (G.R. No. 138470) ...................................................................................... 256 People v. Lobitania (G.R. No. 142380) ................................................................................. 258 Probation Law .............................................................................................................................. 260 Domingo Lagrosa and Osias Baguin v. People (G.R. No. 152044)........................................ 260 Lilia Vicoy v. People (G.R. No. 138203) ................................................................................ 262 Alejandra Pablo v. Hon. Silverio Castillo and People (G.R. No. 125108).............................. 264 Anti-Fencing Law .......................................................................................................................... 266 Fransisco v. People (GR No. 146584) ................................................................................... 266 Tan v. People (GR No. 134298) ............................................................................................ 271 Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (R.A. 3019) ........................................................................ 276 People v. Arturo F. Pacificador (G.R. No. 139405) ............................................................... 276 Rosalia M. Dugayon vs. People (G.R. No. 147333) .............................................................. 278 Arturo A. Mejorada vs. Sandiganbayan (G.R. Nos. L-51065-72) .......................................... 280 Anti-Highway Robbery (P.D. 532) ................................................................................................ 282 People v. Pascual (G.R. No. 132870) .................................................................................... 282 People v. Reanzares (G.R. No. 130656)................................................................................ 283 People v. Cerbito (G.R. No. 126397) .................................................................................... 284 Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act ......................................................................................... 285 People v. Bongcarawan (384 SCRA 525) .............................................................................. 285 Suson v. People (494 SCRA 691) .......................................................................................... 287 People v. Lagata (404 SCRA 671) ......................................................................................... 289 Illegal Possession of Firearms/Explosives Law (R.A. 8294) .......................................................... 291 Sayco v. People (G.R. No. 159703) ....................................................................................... 291 People v. Comadre (G.R. No. 153559) ................................................................................. 293 People v. Tadeo (G.R. Nos. 127660 & 144011-12)............................................................... 296 Anti Fencing Law (P.D. 1612) ..................................................................................................... 298 Francisco v. People (G.R. No. 146584) ................................................................................. 298 5|Page

Anti-Bouning Checks Law (B.P. 22) .............................................................................................. 301 Marigomen v. People (G.R. No. 153451) ............................................................................. 301 Sycip v. CA (328 SCRA 447) .................................................................................................. 304 Recuerdo v. People (G.R. No. 133036)................................................................................. 307 Art. 294(B): Robbery with Rape ............................................................................................... 309 People v. Moreno................................................................................................................. 309 People v. Domingo (383 SCRA 43) ....................................................................................... 310 People v. Verceles (388 SCRA 515) ...................................................................................... 312 Art. 148: Direct Assault ............................................................................................................ 313 People vs. Dural (223 SCRA 201) .......................................................................................... 313 People vs. Abalos (258 SCRA 523)........................................................................................ 314 People vs. Tac-an (182 SCRA 201) ........................................................................................ 315

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John Aceveda 2008-0032

Title 2: Crimes Against the Fundamental Law of the State


Art. 124: Arbitrary Detention
Milo v. Salanga (G.R. No. L-37007)
Facts: On April 21, 1973, at around 10 in the evening, in barrio Baguinay, Manaoag, Pangasinan, Juan Tuvera, a Barrio Captain, accompanied by several policemen, maltreated Armando Valdez by hitting with butts of their guns and fist blows and immediately thereafter without legal grounds, deliberately deprived Valdez of his liberty. However, Tuvera filed a motion to quash the information on the ground that the facts charged are not sufficient to support the filing of the information made by Prosecutor Milo. That he was not a public officer who can be charged with arbitrary detention. Respondent Judge Salanga granted the motion. Hence this case. Issue: Whether or not Tuvera, a barrio captain, is a public officer who can be liable for the crime of arbitrary detention? Decision: Yes. The Supreme Court ruled that long before the enactment of P.D. 299, Barrio lieutenants, who were later named Barrio Captains and now Barangay Captains , were recognized as persons in authority. The Court ruled on its various decisions, ruled them as deemed persons in authority. Under R.A. No. 3590, otherwise known as the Revised Barrio Chapter, the powers and duties of a barrio Captain include the following; to took after the maintenance of public order in the barrio and to assist the municipal mayor and the municipal councilor in charge of the district in the performance of their duties in such barrio, to look after the general welfare of the barrio, to enforce all laws and ordinances, and organize and lead an emergency group for the maintenance of peace and order within the barrio. He is a peace officer in the in the barrio considered under the
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law as a person in authority. As such, he may make arrest and detain persons within legal limits.

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John Aceveda 2008-0032

Cayao v. Del Mundo (A.M. No. MTJ-93-813)


Facts:

Petitioner is a driver of Donny's Transit Bus. On October 22, 1992, while travelling the Mataas na Lupa, Alulod, Indang, Cavite, he overtook a Sto. Nio Liner driven by Arnel Muloy. As a consequence thereof, the bus driven by the petitioner almost collided head-on with an oncoming owner-type jeepney. It turned out that the jeepney was registered in the name of respondent Judge Del Mundo who, at the time of the incident, was one of the passengers therein along with his sons. On the same day, he was apprehended by policemen of PNPIndang and immediately brought before the sala of respondent judge. Thereat, petitioner was accused by the respondent of nearly causing an accident and without giving petitioner any opportunity to explain, respondent judge insisted that complainant be punished. Petitioner was compelled by respondent judge to choose from three punishments, to wit: (a) to face a charge of multiple attempted homicide; (b) revocation of his driver's license; or (c) to be put in jail for three (3) days. Petitioner chose the third and which he was forced to sign a "waiver of detention" by respondent judge. He was immediately escorted to the municipal jail. He was not actually incarcerated but he still remained in the premises of the municipal jail for three days, by way of serving his "sentence". On the third day, complainant was released. Hence this case.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner was unduly deprived of his liberty and that respondent judge can be held liable for arbitrary detention?

Decision:

Yes. The Supreme court ruled that while it is true that complainant was not put behind bars as respondent had intended, however, complainant was not allowed to leave the premises of the jail house. The idea of confinement is not synonymous only with incarceration inside a jail cell. It is enough to qualify as confinement that a man be restrained, either morally or physically, of his personal
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liberty (Black's Law Dictionary, 270 [1979]). Under the circumstances, respondent judge was in fact guilty of arbitrary detention when he, as a public officer, ordered the arrest and detention of complainant without legal. In overtaking another vehicle, complainant-driver was not committing or had not actually committed a crime in the presence of respondent judge. Such being the case, the warrantless arrest and subsequent detention of complainant were illegal. In the case at bar, it was duly proved that petitioner was indeed deprived of his liberty for three days on the ground of mere personal vengeance and the abusive attitude of respondent contrary to the law.

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John Aceveda 2008-0032

Astorga v. People (G.R. No. 154130) Facts: On September 1, 1997, the private offended parties who are members of the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources station at Tacloban City, accompanied by SPO3 Cinco and SPO1 Capoquian, went to the Island of Daram, Western Samar to conduct intelligence operations on possible illegal logging activities. At that afternoon, they found two boats measuring 18 meters in length and 5 meters in breadth being constructed at Barangay Locob-Locob. There they met petitioner Benito Astorga, the Mayor of Daram, who turned out to be the owner of the boats. A heated altercation ensued between them. Petitioner accompanied by ten armed men brought the DENR team to petitioners house where they had dinner and drinks. The team left at 2 in the morning. This matter was brought to before the Sandiganbayan which ruled and holds petitioner for arbitrarily detaining the private offended parties. Issue: Whether or not petitioner is criminally liable for arbitrary detention? Decision: No. the Supreme Court ruled that the determinative factor in Arbitrary Detention, in the absence of actual physical restraint, is fear. The elements of the crime of Arbitrary Detention are: 1.) That the offender is a public officer or employee, 2.) That he detains a person and 3.) That the detention is without legal grounds.There is no proof that petitioner instilled fear in the minds of the private offended parties. There was no actual restraint imposed on the private offended parties. SPO1 Capoquian in fact testified that they were free to leave the house and roam around the barangay. Furthermore, he admitted that it was raining at that time. Hence, it is possible that petitioner prevented the team from leaving the island because it was unsafe for them to travel by boat. Petitioner, being then a municipal mayor, merely extended his hospitality and entertained the DENR Team in his house. The testimony made by the private offended parties negate
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the element of detention. Fear is a state of mind and is necessarily subjective. Addressed to the mind of the victim, its presence cannot be tested by any hardand-fast rule but must instead be viewed in the light of the perception and judgment of the victim at the time of the crime.

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Gil Acosta 2008-0085

Art. 125: Delay in the Delivery of Detained Persons to the Proper Judicial Authorities
People vs. Garcia (G.R. No. 126252)
Facts:

On Nov. 18, 1994 herein accused Jesus Garcia boarded a jeep carrying a plastic bag, and occupied the seat next to the driver. Also in that jeepney two policeman who were in civilian clothes. After herein accused boarder smelled marijuana of which seemed to emanate from the plastic bag carried by Garcia. To confirm their suspicion, they decided to follow the accused when he gets of the jeepney. When the two policeman were certain that it was indeed marijuana that the accused was in possession they quickly identified themselves and arrested Garcia. The accused after the arrest was turned over to the CIS office at the Baguio Water district compound for further investigation.

Issue:

Whether or not there was delay in the delivery of the person as provided for in Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code?

Decision:

NO. The Sc held that there was no irregularity with the turn over of the appellants to the CIS office. It was clarified that this has been the practice of the arresting officers as their office had previously arranged with the CIS for assistance with respect to investigations of suspected criminals, the CIS office being more specialized in the area of investigation. Neither can the police officers be held liable for arbitrarily detaining appellant at the CIS office. Art. 125 of the RPC, penalizes a public officer who shall detain another for some legal ground and fail to deliver him to the proper authorities for 36 hours for crimes punishable by the afflictive or capital penalties. In the present case, the record bears that appellant was arrested for possession of 5 kls. Of marijuana in Nov. 28, 1994 at 2 p.m. a crime punishable with reclusion perpetua to death. He was detained for further investigation and delivered by the arresting officers to the court in the
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afternoon of the next day. Clearly, the detention of appellant for purposes of investigation did not exceed the duration allowed by law. i.e., 36 hours from the time of his arrest.

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Gil Acosta 2008-0085

Jasper Agbay vs. Deputy Ombudsman for Military (G.R. No. 134503)
Facts:

On September 7, 1997 Jasper Agbay together with a Sherwin Jugalbot were arrested and detained at the Liloan Police Station by herein private respondent policemen. They were arrested for an alleged violation of R.A. 7160. The following day a complaint for violation of said law was filed against the two accused before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Liloan, Metro Cebu by one Gicarya for and behalf of her daughter Gayle.

On September 10, 1997 the petitioner argued to the Chief of Police that they be released, considering that the latter had failed to deliver the detained petitioner to the proper judicial authority within 36 hours from Sept. 7, 1997.

The Main argument of herein petitioners that they were not delivered to the proper judicial authority, hence herein private respondent policemen were in violation of Art. 125 of the Revised Penal Code. Petitioner contends that the act of Gicarya in filing the complaint before the MCTC was for the purposes of P.I. as the MCTC has no jurisdiction to try the case, thus not falling within the requirements of Art. 25.

Isuue:

Wheter or not there was a violation of Art. 125 of the RPC?

Decision:

NO. The SC Held that upon filing of the Complaint to the MCTC, the intent behind Art. 125 of the RPC is satisfied considering that by such act, the detained person is informed of the crime imputed against him and, upon his application with the court, he may be released on bail. Petitioner himself acknowledged this power of the MCTC to order release when he applied for and was granted his release upon posting bail. Thus, the very purpose underlying Art. 125 of the RPC

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has been duly served with the MCTC. That the filing of the complaint with the MCTC interrupted the period prescribed in said Article.

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Ranvylle Albano 2008-0052

Title 3: Crimes Against Public Order


Art.134: Rebellion or Insurrection
People vs. Silongan (G.R. No. 137182)
Facts:

The appellants in this case, who are a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebel surrenderees, were convicted in the Regional Trial Court for the crime of kidnapping with Serious Illegal Detention of Alexander Saldaa and his three companions. The four victims were taken to a mountain hideout and the appellants demanded ransom money for their release. Alexander was detained for six months until he was finally released.

Issue:

Whether or not the crime of kidnapping committed by the accused should be absorbed in rebellion?

Decision:

As regards the argument that the crime was politically motivated and that consequently, the charge should have been rebellion and not kidnapping, we find the same likewise to be without merit. As held in Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Zamboanga Del Norte vs. CA, the political motivation for the crime must be shown in order to justify finding the crime committed to be rebellion. Merely because it is alleged that appellants were members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or of the Moro National Liberation Front does not necessarily mean that the crime of kidnapping was committed in furtherance of a rebellion. Here, the evidence adduced is insufficient for a finding that the crime committed was politically motivated. Neither have the appellants sufficiently proven their allegation that the present case was filed against them because they are rebel surrenderees. This court has invariably viewed the defense of frame-up with disfavor. Like the defense of alibi, it can be just as easily concocted.
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Ranvylle Albano 2008-0052

Enrile vs. Amin (G.R. No. 93335)


Facts:

Together with the filing of an information charging Senator Juan Ponce Enrile as having committed rebellion with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, government prosecutors filed another information charging him for violation of Presidential Decree No. 1829 with the Regional Trial Court of Makati. The prosecution in this Makati case alleges that the petitioner entertained and accommodated Col. Honasan by giving him food and comfort on December 1, 1989 in his house knowing that Colonel Honasan is a fugitive from justice.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner could be separately charged for violation of PD No. 1829 notwithstanding the rebellion case earlier filed against him?

Decision:

The prosecution must make up its mind whether to charge Senator Ponce Enrile with rebellion alone or to drop the rebellion case and charge him with murder and multiple frustrated murder and also violation of P.D. 1829. It cannot complex the rebellion with murder and multiple frustrated murder. Neither can it prosecute him for rebellion in Quezon City and violation of PD 1829 in Makati. It should be noted that there is in fact a separate prosecution for rebellion already filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. In such a case, the independent prosecution under PD 1829 can not prosper.

The intent or motive is a decisive factor. If Senator Ponce Enrile is not charged with rebellion and he harbored or concealed Colonel Honasan simply because the latter is a friend and former associate, the motive for the act is completely different. But if the act is committed with political or social motives, that is in furtherance of rebellion, then it should be deemed to form part of the crime of rebellion instead of being punished separately.

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Ranvylle Albano 2008-0052

People vs. Manglallan (G.R. No. L-38538)


Facts:

Ka Daniel, the leader of the New People's Army (NPA) in Sta. Ana, Cagayan directed accused Andres Manglallan, Cesar Alvarez, Domingo Ramos, and Virgilio Ballesteros, members of the NPA to go to Barrio Punti and kill one Apolonio Ragual who was suspected by Ka Daniel to be a Philippine Constabulary (PC) informer. Said four went to the barrio of Ragual carrying with them their firearms. They arrived at Punti at 9:00 A.M. and they saw Ragual at the river bank giving his carabao a bath. Ramos went to him and after a while shot him with his gun. Manglallan also shot him followed with another shot by Alvarez, as a result of which Ragual fell down and died. Manglallan then placed on the dead body of Ragual a writing and drawing made by their association warning the people and the PC of their activities.

Issue:

Whether or not the crime committed by the accused is rebellion or murder?

Decision:

In the case of People vs. Agarin, which was a prosecution for murder, like the present case, where the accused Huk member with his companions killed the victim because he was a PC informer, this Court held that the crime committed is simple rebellion and not murder, as follows:

The offense perpetrated by appellant is murder, qualified by abuse of superior strength. Considering, however, the fact that the killing was committed as a means to or in the furtherance of the subversive ends of the Huk balahaps (HUKS) because appellant and his companions,

Commander Manaing and Commander Vida suspected the deceased to have acted as a spy and had informed the BOT
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and Government agencies regarding the presence of the Huks in that region, we find Federico Agarin alias Commander "Smith" guilty of the crime of simple rebellion only (People vs. Hernandez, et al., 99 Phil. 515; 52 Off. Gaz. [12] 5506; Secs. 4 and 5, Rule 116; People vs. Melecio Aquino, et al., 108 Phil 814; 57 Off. Gaz [51] 91 80)'" [People vs. Agarin, 109 Phil. 430, 436]"

The Court, therefore, sustains the contention of the appellant that the crime he committed is not murder but the crime of rebellion punishable under Articles 134 and 135 of the Revised Penal Code.

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Brian Bonifacio Dela Cruz 2007-0388

Title 4: Crimes Against Public Interest


Art. 168: Illegal Possession and Use of False Treasury or Bank Notes and Other Instruments of Credit
Tecson v. CA (370 SCRA 181)
Facts:

On April 28, 1990, a buy-bust operation was held by the Central Bank Operatives in order to capture a certain Mang Andy who is involved in a syndicate engaging in the business of counterfeit US dollar notes. Labita and Marqueta (members of the buy-bust operation team) acted as poseur-buyer, approached Mang Andy inside the Jollibee restaurant. When the civilian informer introduced them to Mang Andy, the latter was convinced and drew 10 pieces of US dollar notes from his wallet. At that moment, Labita and Marqueta introduced themselves as Central Bank operatives and apprehended Mang Andy whom they later identified as herein petitioner, Alejandro Tecson.

Petitioner denies liability for the crime of illegal possession and use of false treasury bank notes and other instruments of credit as defined in Art, 168 of the Revised Penal Code. According to him, to make him liable under the said provision, his possession of counterfeit dollar notes should be coupled with intent to use. In other words, petitioner contends that possession without intent to use counterfeit US dollar notes would not make him criminally liable.

Issue:

Whether or not from the facts of the case, Alejandro Tecson is liable under Art. 168 of the Revised Penal Code?

Decision:

It is true that in Art. 168, possession of fake dollar notes must be coupled with intent to use the same by a clear and deliberate overt act in order to constitute a crime. However, from the facts of the case it can be inferred that the
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accused had the intent to use the fake dollar notes. In the course of the entrapment, petitioners natural reaction from the seeming interest of the of the poseur-buyer to buy fake US dollar notes constitutes an overt act which clearly shows his intent to use or sell the counterfeit US dollar notes. It is worthy to note that prior to the buy-bust operation, the civilian informer had an agreement with the petitioner to arrange a meeting with the prospective buyers. It was actually the petitioner who planned and arranged said meeting and what the informer did was only to convince the petitioner that there are prospective buyers. Clearly therefore, prior to the buy-bust operation, the petitioner had already the intention to sell fake US dollar notes and from that fact alone he cannot claim that he was only instigated to commit the crime. The petitioner also failed to overcome the legal presumption that public officers regularly perform their official duties.

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Melencio S. Faustino 2008-0094

Art. 171: Falsification by Public Officer, Employee; or Notary or Ecclesiastical Minister Art. 172: Falsification by Private Individuals and Use of Falsified Documents
Amora v. CA (155 SCRA 388)
Facts: Petitioners Inocentes Amora, Jr. and Claudio Murillo were accused of four (4) counts of Estafa thru Falsification of Public Documents. Petitioners allegedly falsify the Time Book and Payroll Voucher of the municipality of Guindulman, Bohol, covering the period from September 1 to 30, 1972 by making it appear that Vicente Begamano and Alfredo Bagtasos rendered 21 days services each in "gathering boulders for shore protection" for the period from September 1 to 30, 1972 when they did not in fact render said services. After trial, the Court of First Instance of Bohol finds the accused Guilty as charged.

The Court of Appeals held that the accused were not guilty of estafa because evidently the Municipality of Guindulman did not suffer any loss or damage arising from the payrolls. On the contrary, the government gained from the said project. However, the Court of Appeals found that Inocentes Amora, Jr. was a municipal employee and convicted him of falsification by public officer. Although Claudio Murillo was not in the government service he was also convicted of falsification by public officer on the ground that there was a conspiracy between him and Amora. The Court of Appeals also held that the appellants were motivated by a single intention and so found them guilty of only one (1) instead of four (4) crimes.

Issue: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in disregarding their defense of good faith.

Decision: The Supreme Court held that although the accused altered a public document or made a misstatement or erroneous assertion therein, he
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would

not be guilty of falsification as long as he acted in good faith and no one was prejudiced by the alteration or error."

In the instant case, It is quite obvious that the proper method for claiming payment under the pakyaw contract was for Murillo to simply bill the town for so many cubic meters of boulders which had been delivered and piled at the municipal wharf. Instead he and Inocentes Amora, Jr. resorted to the payroll system which is not only cumbersome but also involved falsification. The reason could only be that they were ignorant and ill-advised as claimed.

From the foregoing coupled with the fact that the town of Guindulman suffered no damage and even gained on the project (the cost of the boulders actually delivered was P18,285.00 but Murillo was paid only P13,455.00) plus the additional fact that the alleged complaining witness mentioned in the informations suffered no damage whatsoever and were in fact awarded no indemnity, it is obvious that the falsifications made by the petitioners were done in good faith.

The petition is hereby granted. The decision of the Court of Appeals which adjudged the petitioners guilty of falsification is hereby reversed and the petitioners are acquitted.

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Melencio S. Faustino 2008-0094

Pajelga V. Scareal (167 SCRA 350)


Facts:

Petitioner filed a Petition for review on certiorari of the Sandiganbayan's decision finding him guilty of Falsification of Public Documents through reckless imprudence in the first case and Infidelity in the Custody of Documents in the second case.

Petitioner now alleges that he cannot be convicted of falsification under either paragraph (2) or paragraph (4) of Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code, as he was not a party to the questioned Deed of Absolute Sale, nor did he impersonate anybody in furtherance of the sale. He also questions his conviction under Art. 171 (2) as he pleaded to and was tried on the basis of an information charging him with falsification under paragraph (4) of Art. 171. He contends that to convict him under paragraph (2) of said Article would be to deprive him of his constitutional right against double jeopardy. The motive and intent to falsify attributed to him are likewise alleged to be baseless, as there really was a contract of sale between him and Ablat executed two (2) months before the questioned sale between Ablat and the provincial government of Batanes. Finally, petitioner contends that, even assuming that there was falsification as defined in Art. 171 of the Revised Penal Code, still, no conviction against him can lie as no material damage was caused the government by reason of nonconsummation of the sale.

The Solicitor General, upon the other hand, maintains that the offense committed is falsification, defined and penalized under paragraph (4) of Art. 171 of the Revised Penal Code since the claim of the petitioner that Ablat was the owner of the motorcycle is untruthful and petitioner was an active participant in the making of the untruthful narration of facts.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner is guilty of the charge of falsification of public or official document?
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Decision:

Petitioner is entitled to an acquittal.

As Justice Albert says: "in the falsification of public or official document under Art. 171 of the Revised Penal Code, it is not enough that the falsification be committed by a public officer; it is also necessary that it should be committed by a public officer with abuse of his office, that is, in deeds, instrument, indentures, certificates, etc., in the execution of which he participates by reason of his office."

In the instant case, the deed of absolute sale executed by Ablat was adjudged to be a falsified document because it conveyed the impression that Ablat was the owner of the motorcycle, subject matter of the transaction, when such was not the case, as the petitioner Fajelga is the true and registered owner of the said motorcycle, thereby making an untruthful narration of facts.

It should be noted, however, that the statement that Ablat was the owner of the motorcycle in question is not altogether untruthful since the petitioner Fajelga had previously sold the motorcycle to him. While the deed of sale may not have been registered with the Bureau of Land Transportation, Ablat nevertheless became the owner thereof before its aborted sale to the provincial government of Batanes.

Besides, malicious intent to injure a third person is absent. In fact, neither the government nor any third person incurred any loss by reason of the "untruthful" narration.

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Melencio S. Faustino 2008-0094

Recebido v. People (346 SCRA 88)


Facts:

This is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the Decision of the Court of Appeals finding petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Falsification of Public Document.

Petitioner was charged and convicted by the trial court of falsifying the signature of Caridad Dorol, causing it to appear that said Caridad Dorol has signed her name on a Deed of Absolute Sale of Real Property in his favor, when in truth and in fact he well knew, that Caridad Dorol did not execute said document, to the damage and prejudice of the latter.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court except for the award for damage.

Issue:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed gave abuse of discretion in sustaining the conviction of the petitioner?

Decision:

We hold that the Court of Appeals did not commit any grave abuse of discretion when it affirmed petitioner's conviction by the trial court.

The petitioner admits that the deed of sale that was in his possession is a forged document as found by the trial and appellate court. Petitioner, nonetheless, argues that notwithstanding this admission, the fact remains that there is no proof that the petitioner authored such falsification or that the forgery was done under his direction.

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This argument is without merit. Under the circumstance, there was no need of any direct proof that the petitioner was the author of the forgery. As keenly observed by the Solicitor General, "the questioned document was submitted by petitioner himself when the same was requested by the NBI for examination. Clearly in possession of the falsified deed of sale was petitioner and not Caridad Dorol who merely verified the questioned sale with the Provincial Assessor's Office of Sorsogon. In other words, the petitioner was in possession of the forged deed of sale which purports to sell the subject land from the private complainant to him. Given this factual backdrop, the petitioner is presumed to be the author of the forged deed of sale, despite the absence of any direct evidence of his authorship of the forgery. Since the petitioner is the only person who stood to benefit by the falsification of the document found in his possession, it is presumed that he is the material author of the falsification. As it stands, therefore, we are unable to discern any grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Court of Appeals.

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Jaypee Garcia 2007-0280

Art. 183: Perjury


Villanueva vs. Secretary of Justice (475 SCRA 495)
Facts:

Refractories Corporation of the Philippines (RCP) filed a protest before the Special Committee on Anti-Dumping of the Department of Finance against certain importations of Hamburg Trading Corporation (HTC), a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines. The matter involved 151.070 tons of magnesite-based refractory bricks from Germany.

Because of such protest a conference was made among and between the parties in order for them to reach a compromise agreement.

As the compromise was done, the reception of documents ensued between the parties. On the process of such reception, the phrase in the agreement was change by inserting the phrase based on the findings of the BIS in the compromise.

The petitioner filed a case of perjury against the respondents which was dismissed by the Secretary of Justice for lack of probable cause.

Issue:

Whether a criminal case of perjury will prosper?

Decision:

Perjury is defined and penalized in Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code, thus:

Art. 183. False testimony in other cases and perjury in solemn affirmation. The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon any person who, knowingly making untruthful

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statements and not being included in the provisions of the next preceding articles, shall testify under oath or make an affidavit upon any material matter before a competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the law so requires.

Any person who, in case of a solemn affirmation made in lieu of an oath, shall commit any of the falsehoods mentioned in this and the three preceding articles of this section shall suffer the respective penalties provided therein.

Perjury is an obstruction of justice; its perpetration may affect the earnest concerns of the parties before a tribunal. The felony is consummated when the false statement is made.

A mere assertion of a false objective fact, a falsehood, is not enough. The assertion must be deliberate and willful. Perjury being a felony by dolo, there must be malice on the part of the accused. Willfully means intentionally; with evil intent and legal malice, with the consciousness that the alleged perjurious statement is false with the intent that it should be received as a statement of what was true in fact. It is equivalent to knowingly. Deliberately implies meditated as distinguished from inadvertent acts. It must appear that the accused knows his statement to be false or as consciously ignorant of its truth.

Perjury cannot be willful where the oath is according to belief or conviction as to its truth. A false statement of a belief is not perjury. Bona fide belief in the truth of a statement is an adequate defense. A false statement which is obviously the result of an honest mistake is not perjury.

There are two essential elements of proof for perjury: (1) the statement made by the defendants must be proven false; and (2) it must be proven that the defendant did not believe those statements to be true.

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Jaypee Garcia 2007-0280

Acuna vs. Deputy Ombudsman (450 SCRA 237)


Facts: Petitioner Celsa P. Acua (petitioner) is a former teacher of the Angeles City National Trade School (ACNTS) in Angeles City, Pampanga. Respondent Pedro Pascua (respondent Pascua) was ACNTS Officer-In-Charge while respondent Ronnie Turla (respondent Turla) was a member of its faculty.

A meeting within the school was conducted between teachers and personnels of the school regarding matters which were arising among them. As on offshoot of the meeting, series of misconduct case were file by and among them.

Such cases though filed administratively, others still filed a cases for violation of perjury under the Revised Penal Code. Because of different acts which prove or tend to prove the same.

Issue:

Whether a criminal case for perjury will prosper?

Decision:

Probable cause, as used in preliminary investigations, is defined as the existence of such facts and circumstances as would excite the belief, in a reasonable mind, acting on the facts within the knowledge of the prosecutor, that the person charged was guilty of the crime for which he was prosecuted. The elements of perjury under Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code are:

(a) that the accused made a statement under oath or executed an affidavit upon a material matter; (b) that the statement or affidavit was made before a competent officer, authorized to receive and administer oath; (c) that in that statement or affidavit, the accused made a willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood; and, (d) that the sworn statement or

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affidavit containing the falsity is required by law or made for a legal purpose.

Public respondent correctly ruled that the first and third elements are absent here in that private respondents statements were not material to that case nor do they constitute willful and deliberate assertion of falsehood.

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Jaypee Garcia 2007-0280

Choa vs. People (299 SCRA 145)


Facts:

Alfonso Chan Choa, petitioner, is a Chinese national. On April 25, 1989, he filed with the Regional Trial Court of Bacolod City, a verified petition for naturalization.

Later on, the petitioner withdrew such petition for naturalization for some unknown reason.

After 2 years, a case was filed against him by his wife for perjury, stating that during within the time the petitioner is asking for naturalization, he committed acts of perjury by stating material facts which his wife said was all false.

Issue:

Whether petitioner may be convicted of perjury based on the alleged false statements he stated in his petition for naturalization withdrawn almost two years prior to the filing of the Information for perjury?

Decision:

We cannot go along with the submission of the petitioner and the Solicitor General that petitioner could no longer be prosecuted for perjury in view of the withdrawal of the petition for naturalization containing his false material statements. In this jurisdiction, it is not necessary that the proceeding in which the perjury is alleged to have been committed be first terminated before a prosecution for the said crime is commenced. At the time he filed his petition for naturalization, he had committed perjury. As discussed earlier, all the elements of the crime were already present then. He knew all along that he wilfully stated material falsities in his verified petition. Surprisingly, he withdrew his petition without even stating any reason therefore. But such withdrawal only terminated the proceedings for naturalization. It did not extinguish his culpability for perjury he already committed. Indeed, the fact of withdrawal alone cannot bar the State
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from prosecuting petitioner, an alien, who made a mockery not only of the Philippine naturalization law but the judicial proceedings as well. And the petition for naturalization tainted with material falsities can be used as evidence of his unlawful act.

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Jm Sandino Imperial 2007-0297

Art. 185: Machinations in Public Auctions


Ouano v. CA
Facts:

On June 8, 1977, Julieta Ouano obtained a loan from PNB. As security for said loan, she executed a real estate mortgage over two parcels of land locataed at Opao, Mandaue City. She default;ted on her obligation.

On September 29, 1980, PNB filed a petition for extra judicial foreclosure with the City Sheriff.

On November 4, 1980, the sheriff prepared a notice of sale setting the date of public auction of the two parcels of land on December 5, 1980 and caused the notice to be published in the Cebu Daily Times, a newspaper of general circulation in Mandaue City, in three separate issues. Likewise, he posted copies thereof in public places in Mandaue City and in the place where the properties are located.

However, the sale as scheduled and published did not take place as the parties, on four separate dates, executed Agreements to Postpone Sale.

Finally, on May 29, 1981, the sheriff conducted the auction sale, awarding the two parcels of land to PNB, the only bidder.

On March 28, 1983, Julieta sent demand letters to PNB and petitioner, pointing out irregularities in the foreclosure sale. Julieta filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cebu for the nullification of the foreclosure sale. The RTC of Cebu rendered a decision saying that want of republication rendered the foreclosure sale void.

PNB and petitioner brought the case to the Court of Appeals and said Court affirmed the ruling of the Trial Court.

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Issue:

Whether or not the requirements of Act. No. 3135, the governing law for extra-judicial foreclosures were complied with?

Decision:

No, the republication and reposting of notice were not complied with. The waiver by the parties only authorized the adjournment of the execution sale. There is nothing in the statute that states that republication and reposting may be waived.

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Shaun Jayoma 2005-0016

Art. 201: Immoral Doctrines, Obscene Publications and Exhibitions, and Indecent Shows
Iglesia ni Kristo v. CA (G.R. No. 119673)
Facts:

Respondent appellate court affirmed the ruling of the respondent Board xrating IGLESIA NI CRISTOs TV Program Series Nos. 115, 119, 121 and 128. The records show that the respondent Board disallowed the program series for "attacking" other religions. Thus, Exhibits "A," "A-1," (respondent Board's Voting Slip for Television) reveal that its reviewing members x-rated Series 115 for criticizing different religions, based on their own interpretation of the Bible. They suggested that the program should only explain petitioner's own faith and beliefs and avoid attacks on other faiths. Exhibit "B" shows that Series No. 119 was xrated because "the Iglesia ni Cristo insists on the literal translation of the bible and says that our Catholic veneration of the Virgin Mary is not to be condoned because nowhere it is found in the bible that we should do so. Exhibit "C" shows that Series No. 121 was x-rated for reasons of the attacks, they do on, specifically, the Catholic religion. Exhibit "D" also shows that Series No. 128 was not favorably recommended because it outrages Catholic and Protestant's beliefs. On second review, it was x-rated because of its unbalanced interpretations of some parts of the bible. In sum, the respondent Board x-rated petitioner's TV program series Nos. 115, 119, 121 and 128 because of petitioner's controversial biblical interpretations and its "attacks" against contrary religious beliefs. The respondent appellate court agreed and even held that the said "attacks" are indecent, contrary to law and good customs.

Issue:

Whether respondent board gravely abused its discretion when it prohibited the airing of petitioner's religious program for the reason that they constitute an attack against other religions and that they are indecent, contrary to law and good customs?

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Decision:

It is opined that the respondent board can still utilize "attack against any religion" as a ground allegedly because section 3 (c) of PD No. 1986 prohibits the showing of motion pictures, television programs and publicity materials which are contrary to law and Article 201 (2) (b) (3) of the Revised Penal Code punishes anyone who exhibits "shows which offend any race or religion." We respectfully disagree for it is plain that the word "attack" is not synonymous with the word "offend." Moreover, Article 201 (2) (b) (3) of the Revised Penal Code should be invoked to justify the subsequent punishment of a show which offends any religion. It cannot be utilized to justify prior censorship of speech. It must be emphasized that E.O. 876, the law prior to PD 1986, included "attack against any religion" as a ground for censorship. The ground was not, however, carried over by PD 1986. Its deletion is a decree to disuse it. There can be no other intent.

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Shaun Jayoma 2005-0016

Pita v. CA (G.R. No. 80806)


Facts:

Pursuing an Anti-Smut Campaign initiated by the Mayor of the City of Manila, Ramon D. Bagatsing, police authorities seized and confiscated reading materials believed to be obscene, pornographic and indecent and later burned the seized materials in public. "Pinoy Playboy" magazines published and coedited by plaintiff Leo Pita was among the publications seized, and later burned. Pita filed a case for injunction with prayer for issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction against Mayor Bagatsing and Narcisco Cabrera.

In his Answer and Opposition, defendant Mayor Bagatsing admitted the confiscation and burning of obscene reading materials but claimed that the said materials were voluntarily surrendered by the vendors to the police authorities, and that the said confiscation and seizure was undertaken pursuant to P.D. No. 960, as amended by P.D. No. 969, which amended Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code. In opposing the plaintiffs application for a writ of preliminary injunction, defendant pointed out that in that anti- smut campaign conducted on December 1 and 3, 1983, the materials confiscated belonged to the magazine stand owners and peddlers who voluntarily surrendered their reading materials, and that the plaintiffs establishment was not raided.

Issue:

Whether the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the decision of the trial court and, in effect, holding that the police officers could without any court warrant or order seize and confiscate petitioner's magazines on the basis simply of their determination that they are obscene?

Decision:

(PD No. 960 as amended by PD No. 969) Sec. 2. Disposition of the Prohibited Articles. The disposition of the literature, films, prints, engravings, sculptures, paintings, or other materials involved in the violation referred to in Section 1 hereof (Art. 201), RPC as amended) shall be governed by the following
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rules: (a) Upon conviction of the offender, to be forfeited in favor of the Government to be destroyed. (b) Where the criminal case against any violator of this decree results in an acquittal, the obscene/immoral literature, films, prints, engravings, sculptures, paintings or other materials and articles involved in the violation referred to in Section 1 (referring to Art. 201) hereof shall nevertheless be forfeited in favor of the government to be destroyed, after forfeiture proceedings conducted by the Chief of Constabulary. (c) The person aggrieved by the forfeiture action of the Chief of Constabulary may, within fifteen (15) days after his receipt of a copy of the decision, appeal the matter to the Secretary of National Defense for review. The decision of the Secretary of National Defense shall be final and unappealable.

The Court is not ruling out warrantless searches, as the Rules of Court (1964 rev.) (the Rules then prevailing), provide: SEC. 12. Search without warrant of person arrested. A person charged with an offense may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission of the offense. But as the provision itself suggests, the search must have been an incident to a lawful arrest, and the arrest must be on account of a crime committed. Here, no party has been charged, nor are such charges being readied against any party, under Article 201, as amended, of the Revised Penal Code. To say that the respondent Mayor could have validly ordered the raid (as a result of an anti-smut campaign) without a lawful search warrant because, in his opinion, "violation of penal laws" has been committed, is to make the respondent Mayor judge, jury, and executioner rolled into one. And precisely, this is the very complaint of the petitioner.

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Shaun Jayoma 2005-0016

Fernando v. CA (G.R. No. 159751)


Facts:

PNP-CIDG NCR conducted police surveillance on the store bearing the name of Gaudencio E. Fernando Music Fair because of the reports of sale and distribution of pornographic materials. Judge Perfecto Laguio of the Regional Trial Court issued search warrant for violation of Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code against petitioner Gaudencio E. Fernando and a certain Warren Tingchuy.

Police officers of the PNP-CIDG NCR served the warrant on Rudy Estorninos, who, according to the prosecution, introduced himself as the store attendant of Music Fair. The police searched the premises and confiscated twenty-five (25) VHS tapes and ten (10) different magazines, which they deemed pornographic.

Petitioners, with Warren Tingchuy, were charged for selling and exhibiting obscene copies of x-rated VHS Tapes, lewd films depicting men and women having sexual intercourse, lewd photographs of nude men and women in explicating positions which acts serve no other purpose but to satisfy the market for lust or pornography to public view.

Petitioners contend that the prosecution failed to prove that at the time of the search, they were selling pornographic materials. Fernando contends that since he was not charged as the owner of an establishment selling obscene materials, the prosecution must prove that he was present during the raid and that he was selling the said materials. Moreover, he contends that the appellate courts reason for convicting him, on a presumption of continuing ownership shown by an expired mayors permit, has no sufficient basis since the prosecution failed to prove his ownership of the establishment. Estorninos, on the other hand, insists that he was not an attendant in Music Fair, nor did he introduce himself so.

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Issue:

Whether petitioners participate in the distribution and exhibition of obscene materials?

Decision:

The Supreme Court emphasizes that mere possession of obscene materials, without intention to sell, exhibit, or give them away, is not punishable under Article 201, considering the purpose of the law is to prohibit the dissemination of obscene materials to the public. The offense in any of the forms under Article 201 is committed only when there is publicity. The law does not require that a person be caught in the act of selling, giving away or exhibiting obscene materials to be liable, for as long as the said materials are offered for sale, displayed or exhibited to the public. In the present case, we find that petitioners are engaged in selling and exhibiting obscene materials.

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Ray Nagrampa Jr. B. 2008-0061

Title 7: Crimes Committed by Public Officers


Art. 204: Knowingly Rendering Unjust Judgment
Diego v. Castillo (A.M. No. RTJ-02-1673)
Facts:

On January 9, 1965, accused Lucena Escoto and Jorge de Perio, Jr both Filipino were married. In the marriage contract, the accused used and adopted the name Crescencia Escoto, with a civil status of single. A Decree of Divorce

was issued to Jorge de Perio as petitioner by the Family District Court of Harris County, Texas (247th Judicial District) dissolving their marriage. Subsequently, on June 4, 1987, the same Crescencia Escoto contracted marriage with herein complainants brother, Manuel P. Diego The marriage contract shows that this time, the accused used and adopted the name Lucena Escoto, again, with a civil status of single.

A criminal case for bigamy was filed before respondent Judge and promulgated a decision, on February 24, 1999 acquittal said accused.

Complainant herein alleges that the decision rendered by the respondent Judge is manifestly against the law and contrary to the evidence and for allegedly knowingly rendering an unjust judgment in a criminal case and/or rendering judgment in gross ignorance of the law.

Issue:

Whether or not there was unjust judgment made by the respondent Judge?

Decsion:

Knowingly rendering an unjust judgment is a criminal offense defined and penalized under Article 204 of the Revised Penal Code. For conviction to lie, it must be proved that the judgment is unjust and that the judge knows that it is unjust. Knowingly means consciously, intelligently, willfully or intentionally. It is
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firmly established in this jurisdiction that for a judge to be held liable for knowingly rendering an unjust judgment, it must be shown that the judgment is unjust as it is contrary to law or is not supported by the evidence, and that the same was made with conscious and deliberate intent to do an injustice.

The law requires that (a) the offender is a judge; (b) he renders a judgment in a case submitted to him for decision; (c) the judgment is unjust; (d) he knew that said judgment is unjust. This Court reiterates that in order to hold a judge liable, it must be shown that the judgment is unjust and that it was made with conscious and deliberate intent to do an injustice. That good faith is a defense to the charge of knowingly rendering an unjust judgment remains the law.

As held in Alforte v. Santos, even assuming that a judge erred in acquitting an accused, she still cannot be administratively charged lacking the element of bad faith, malice or corrupt purpose. Malice or bad faith on the part of the judge in rendering an unjust decision must still be proved and failure on the part of the complainant to prove the same warrants the dismissal of the administrative complaint.

There is, therefore, no basis for the charge of knowingly rendering an unjust judgment.

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Ray Nagrampa Jr. B. 2008-0061

Vuitton v. Villanueva (A.M. No. MTJ-92-643)


Facts:

This is a complaint filed by Louis Vuitton, S.A., represented by counsel, Quasha Asperilla Ancheta Pea and Nolasco Law Office, against Judge Francisco Diaz Villanueva of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 36, on the ground that the latter knowingly rendered a manifestly unjust judgment.

A criminal case was file by entitled People of the Philippines vs. Jose V. Rosario", Louis Vuitton, S.A. accusing the latter of unfair competition as defined by paragraph 1 of Article 189, Revised Penal Code. But the trial court acquitted the accused because of lack of the element constituting said crime. complainant assailed the judge decision for failure to consider the alleged lack of credibility of Felix Lizardo, violated the constitutional mandate that decisions should be rendered within three (3) months from submission of the case and ignoring the ruling Converse Rubber Corp. vs. Jacinto Rubber & Plastics Co., Inc., that "the statute on unfair competition extends protection to the goodwill of a manufacturer or dealer"

Issue:

Whether or not respondent judge is guilty of knowingly rendering a manifestly unjust judgment?

Decision:

The Revised Penal Code holds a judge liable for knowingly rendering a manifestly unjust judgment. Article 204 thereof provides: Any judge who shall knowingly render an unjust judgment in a case submitted to him for decision shall be punished . . .

The law requires that the (a) offender is a judge; (b) he renders a judgment in a case submitted to him for decision; (c) the judgment is unjust; (d)
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he knew that said judgment is unjust. In some administrative cases decided by this Court, We have ruled that in order to hold a judge liable, it must be shown beyond reasonable doubt that the judgment is unjust and that it was made with conscious and deliberate intent to do an injustice.

In this case, We are constrained to hold that complainant failed to substantiate its claims that respondent judge rendered an unjust judgment knowingly. It merely relied on the failure of respondent judge to mentioned the motion in the decision, on his alleged reliance on the testimony of defense witness and on the delay in the promulgation of the case. But they are not enough to show that the judgment was unjust and was maliciously rendered. A judgment is said to be unjust when it is contrary to the standards of conduct prescribed by law. 9 The test to determine whether an order or judgment is unjust may be inferred from the circumstances that it is contrary to law or is not supported by evidence.

The decision herein rests on two legal grounds: first, that there was no unfair competition because the elements of the crime were not sufficiently proven; second, that Jose V. Rosarion who was accused as owner/proprietor of COD was not properly charged as his personality is distinct from that of the COD's.

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Ray Nagrampa Jr. B. 2008-0061

Buenavista v. Garcia (A.M. No. RTJ-88-246)


Facts:

In January 1987, Buenavista filed two complaints for rape in the Municipal Trial Court of Aborlan Palawan , against Samuel M. Ledesma of having raped Gail Buenavista, the 11-year-old daughter of the complainant. A no bail was recommended but the judge admitted the accused to bail and directed that he be released from custody.

On August 5, 1988, based on an affidavit of desistance executed by the offended party on July 26, 1988, the day after she was kidnapped, a Motion to Dismiss the rape cases dated July 4, 1988 was filed by Atty. Edgardo S. Arias, counsel of the accused. The affidavit was notarized by First Assistant Provincial Fiscal Sesinio B. Belen who certified that lie had "personally examined the above-named affiant" and that he was "convinced that she voluntarily executed the foregoing affidavit and understood the contents thereof'.

The complainant has filed an administrative case against Judge Marcelo Garcia with gross ignorance of the law for dismissing the rape complaints on the basis of the minor's affidavit of desistance knowing, as he should have known, that an eleven-year old girl is incompetent to execute such affidavit.

Issue:

Whether or not respondent judge for gross ignorance of the law and for knowingly issuing an unjust order or judgment?

Decision:

After a careful consideration of the complaint and respondent Judge's comment thereon, we find merit in the complainant's charge that Judge Garcia acted either in gross ignorance of the law or with malice and deliberate intent to unjustly dismiss the criminal cases against Samuel Ledesma. As observed by Mr. Justice Campos.

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'To be guilty of 'knowingly rendering an unjust judgment,' it is necessary that the judgment or order was rendered with conscious and deliberate intent to perpetrate an injustice And the test to determine whether the judgment or order is unjust, may be inferred from the circumstance that it is contrary to law or is not supported by evidence. (In re: Rafael C. Climaco, Adm. Case No. 134-J, Jan. 21, 1974; 55 SCRA 107). Judgment may be said to be unjust when it is manifestly against the law and contrary to the weight of evidence. (Sec. 1, par. [c], Rule 37, Rules of Court). An unjust judgment is one contrary to the standards of right and justice or standards of conduct prescribed by the law. (US vs. Oglesby Grocery Co., 264 F. 691; Komen vs. City of St. Louis, 316 Mo. 9; 289 S.W. 838).' (p. 4, Report and Recommendation.)

In view of Judge Garcia's legal backs round as a former Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Palawan in 1985, the Court cannot imagine that he would be ignorant of the law which penalizes statutory rape (Art. 335, Par. 3, Revised Penal Code) or that he did not know that as the victim's consent in statutory rape is invalid, it is not a defense (People vs. Gonzales, 58 SCRA 265; People vs. Celic, 137 SCRA 166). Being incompetent to give valid consent to the rape committed against her, her consent to the dismissal of the original charge against her rapist is likewise invalid.

Judge Garcia's allegation that "ample amount" had been paid by the accused to the complainant to settle the case "during a sort of a conference between the parties in the chambers of the presiding judge" (Emphasis supplied; p. 13, Rollo) while evidently intended to impugn the motives of the complainant in prosecuting the rapist and kidnapper of his daughter has only succeeded in revealing Judge Garcia's improper and immoral intervention in brokering a compromise of the criminal cases against Ledesma. It is an admission that he is either ignorant of the rule that criminal cases are not allowed by law to be compromised, and that an offer of compromise by the accused is an implied admission of guilt (Sec. 24, Rule 130, Rules of Court), or that he does not know that his participation in such a transaction is unbecoming of a judge.

Respondent Judge also admitted that the offended party, Gail Buenavista, has never appeared before him "even for once" (p. 13, Rollo), That circumstance would have aroused suspicion in a more alert Judge that she was being
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sequestered by the accused to prevent her from disowning the letter she supposedly signed in defense of the accused (Annex B, p. 24, Rollo) and her affidavit of desistance (Annex B-2, p. 17, Rollo).

For all the foregoing, we find respondent Judge Marcelo G. Garcia guilty of serious misconduct, gross ignorance of the law, and knowingly rendering an unjust order or judgment. The last is punishable under Article 204 of the Revised Penal Code as follows:

Art. 204. Any judge who shall knowingly render an unjust judgment in a case submitted to him for decision shall be punished by prision mayor and perpetual disqualification.

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Alvin Ocampo 2011-0386

Art. 206: Unjust Interlocutory Order


Layola v. Judge Gabo, Jr. (323 SCRA 348)
Facts:

This is an administrative case initiated by the sworn affidavit-complaint of Lucia F. Layola, dated 12 August 1997, charging Presiding Judge Basilio R. Gabo, Jr. of Branch 11 of the Regional Trial Court in Malolos, Bulacan, with a violation of Section 3 (e), R.A. 3019, for issuing an unjust interlocutory order, and with gross ignorance of the law. Complainant sent the above-mentioned affidavitcomplaint to Deputy Ombudsman for the Military, BGen. Manuel B. Casaclang (Ret.), of the Office of the Ombudsman who, in turn, indorsed the same to the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) for appropriate action.

Respondent Judge Basilio R. Gabo, Jr. stands charged with a violation of Section 3 (e), R.A. 3019, for issuing an unjust interlocutory order, and with gross ignorance of the law. According to the complainant the respondent judge directed that accused SPO2 German be held in the custody of his immediate superior, the Chief of Police of Sta. Maria, Bulacan, an order sans any legal and factual basis, instead of ordering the arrest of the said accused being indicted for murder, a heinous and non-bailable crime. Thereafter, respondent judge denied the motion for reconsideration interposed by the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military

The Office of the Court Administrator, after thorough examination of the evidence submitted before it, found that the charges for violation of Section 3 (e), R.A. 3019 and of issuing an unjust interlocutory order, bereft of merit but respondent judge was adjudged guilty of gross ignorance of the law.

As regards the charge of violating Section 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, the OCA stressed that the important element of the offense, which is damage or injury to the complainant, or manifest partiality shown to any party, is anemic of evidentiary support. There is no allegation of any injury suffered by the complainant as a result of the conduct or actuation of

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the respondent judge, nor was there any showing of undue benefit or advantage given to the adverse party under the orders complained of.

With respect to the alleged rendering of an unjust interlocutory order, in connection with the denial by respondent judge of the motion for reconsideration of the order granting the petition of the Chief of Police, Sta. Maria Station to take custody of accused SPO2 German, the OCA found such a charge to be unfounded.

Knowingly rendering an unjust interlocutory order must have the elements: 1) that the offender is a judge; 2) that he performs any of the following acts: a) he knowingly renders unjust interlocutory order or decree; or b) he renders a manifestly unjust interlocutory order or decree through inexcusable negligence or ignorance.

The OCA perceived no evidence that the respondent judge issued the questioned order knowing it to be unjust, and neither is there any proof of conscious and deliberate intent to do an injustice.

Thus, the OCA recommended: 1. x x x 2. That the charges of violation of Section 3 (e) of R.A. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) and issuance of an unjust interlocutory order be DISMISSED for lack of merit.

Issue:

Whether or not Respondent Judge Basilio R. Gabo, Jr. is liable for issuance of unjust interlocutory order under Article 206 of the Revised Penal Code notwithstanding the recommendation of the Office of the Court Administrator that the same be dismissed for lack of merit?

Decision:

The Supreme Court sustained the recommendation of the Office of the Court Administrator, thus:

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It is a settled doctrine that for a judge to be held liable for knowingly rendering an unjust judgment, it must be established beyond cavil that the judgment adverted to is unjust, contrary to law or unsupported by the evidence, and that the same was rendered with conscious and deliberate intent to do an injustice. In other words, the quantum of proof required to hold respondent judge guilty for alleged violations of Section 3 (e) of R.A. 3019 and Article 206 of the Revised Penal Code, is proof beyond reasonable doubt.

Proof beyond reasonable doubt requires moral certainty. If the inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable of two or more explanations or interpretations, one of which is consistent with the innocence of the accused and the other consistent with his guilt, the evidence does not fulfill or hurdle the test of moral certainty and does not suffice to convict. Here, the allegations of the complaint-affidavit are unsubstantiated. Respondent judge cannot, of course, be pronounced guilty on the basis of bare allegations. There has to be evidence on which conviction can be anchored. The evidence must truly be beyond reasonable doubt.

However, the Supreme Court found Judge Basilio R. Gabo, Jr. guilty of gross ignorance of the law.

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Justiniano Quiza 2008-0290

Art. 211: Indirect Bribery


Formilleza v. Sandiganbayan (G.R. No. 149152)
Facts:

Petitioner was the personnel supervisor of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in Tacloban City. Her duties include processing of appointment papers of employees. She was charged for her alleged refusal to attend to the appointment papers of a certain Mrs. Mutia, a coterminous employee. Mrs. Mutia testified that petitioner asked from her some money as a consideration.

Attempts to entrap petitioner then ensued. Petitioner and Mrs. Mutia supposedly agreed to meet at the canteen. Some of their officemates Mrs. Sevilla and a certain Mrs. Dimaano joined them in the canteen. They occupied two squareshaped tables joined together. The petitioner sat at the head of the table with Mrs. Mutia seated at her left, Mrs. Dimaano at her (the petitioner's) right and Mrs. Sevilla at the right of Mrs. Dimaano. Member of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) brought along a camera in order to take photographs of the entrapment. The marked money was folded altogether.

After the money had been delivered and received, pictures were taken, one of them depicting the accused held by member of the PC on the left hand and another showing the accused also held on the left hand by one of the PC men, and the complainant, Mrs. Mutia, drinking from a glass .

The petitioner was arrested by the soldiers despite her objections to the entrapment. She denied having accepted the supposed bribe money.

The case was brought to the respondent court which ruled that the crime committed by the petitioner was not Direct Bribery as defined in Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code cited in the Information but Indirect Bribery as defined under Article 211 of the same code.

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Issue:

Whether or not petitioner was properly convicted of the crime of indirect bribery?

Decision:

No. The essential ingredient of indirect bribery as defined in Article 211 of the Revised Penal Code is that the public officer concerned must have accepted the gift or material consideration. There must be a clear intention on the part of the public officer to take the gift so offered and consider the same as his own property from then on, such as putting away the gift for safekeeping or pocketing the same. Mere physical receipt unaccompanied by any other sign, circumstance or act to show such acceptance is not sufficient to lead the court to conclude that the crime of indirect bribery has been committed.

An examination of the seven photographs that were allegedly taken immediately after the passing of the money shows that the petitioner was standing up when the PC agents apprehended her. There was no picture showing petitioner to be seated which should be her position immediately after the money was handed to her under the table. None of the photographs show the petitioner in the process of appropriating or keeping the money after it was handed to her.

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Alexander Santos 2006-0205

Art. 212: Corruption of Public Officials


Chua vs. Nuestro (A.M. No. P-88-256)
Facts:

Complainant Rina V. Chua filed an administrative charge against the respondent for allegedly delaying the enforcement of the writ of execution in her favor after demanding and getting from her the sum of P1,500.00. Asked to comment thereon, the respondent denied the charge. The case was referred for investigation, report and recommendation to Judge Pardo of the Regional Trial Court of Manila who, after hearing, found duly substantiated that to immediately enforce a writ of execution, complainant agreed to give P1,000.00 to the respondent, an additional amount of P500.00, but after the which the writ was still not enforced for the losing party, against whom the writ was to be executed, showed an official Receipt of payment of the supersedeas bond.

Issue: Whether or not complainants action constitute corruption of a public official?

Decision:

Yes, the court agreeing with the trial court adopts the recommendation that appropriate directive be issued to the City Prosecutor of Manila after preliminary investigation to charge complainant Rina Chua and Atty. Victoriano R. Yabut, Jr. with corruption of public official under Article 212 of the Revised Penal Code.

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Renato Segubiense 2006-0040

Art. 217: Malversation of Public Funds or Property


Davalos v. People (G.R. No. 145229)
Facts:

On January 14, 1988, petitioner Davalos, as supply officer of the Office of the Provincial Engineer of Marinduque, received from the provincial cashier a cash advance of P18,000.00 covered by Philippine National Bank (PNB) Check No. SN-189833-N for the procurement of working tools for a certain "NALGO" project. On May 5, 1988, petitioner received a demand letter from then Provincial Treasurer Timoteo Magalang giving him until May 16, 1988 to submit a liquidation of the aforementioned P18,000.00 cash advance. This was followed by another letter received by petitioner on May 26, 1988, giving him this time up to May 31, 1999 to settle his account. But as in the first instance, the second demand went unheeded.

In a letter dated August 16, 1990, the new Provincial Treasurer, Norma Cabungal, informed the Provincial Prosecutor of Marinduque of the Commission on Audit's findings on the examination of the cash accounts of the province wherein petitioner was found to have an unsettled cash advance in the amount of P18,000.00.

Petitioner admitted receiving the P18,000.00 cash advance intended to purchase working tools for the "NALGO" project. He, however, denied

allegations that he misappropriated the said amount. He testified, too, that, the purchase order (PO) for the said tools were already approved by the provincial treasurer and the provincial auditor, the new administration decided to scrap the proposed transaction. According to petitioner, following the assumption to office of Governor Luisito Reyes, his office files containing the said PO and the requisition paper were taken and his services terminated per Governor Reyes' Memorandum No. 88-63 dated November 23, 1988. Said memorandum also stated that "should you apply for the commutation/payment of your unused leave/vacation and sick/credits, the same may be approved it is first applied/charged to your unliquidated cash provided of

advance

P18,000.00." Pressing the point, petitioner stated that he then applied for his

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terminal leave and other benefits through the following summary of vouchers which he personally prepared, but were then disapproved.

Despite his belief that he was then no longer obligated to liquidate his P18,000.00 cash advance, petitioner nonetheless settled his account. Petitioner brushed aside the charge of malversation and declared that he had already been relieved of his accountabilities by the Commission on Audit. He, however, admitted receiving from the provincial treasurer the two demand letters earlier adverted to dated May 5, 1988 and May 26, 1988 requiring him to submit his liquidation of the P18,000.00 cash advance on the dates respectively indicated therein.

On June 30, 2000, the Sandiganbayan rendered its decision, finding petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of malversation of public funds and sentencing him accordingly.

Issue:

Whether or not the alleged acts of the petitioner constitute the crime charge?

Decision:

The elements essential for the conviction of an accused under the above penal provision are; that the offender is a public officer; that he has the custody or control of funds or property by reason of the duties of his office; that the funds or property are public funds or property for which he is accountable; and that he appropriated, took, misappropriated or consented or through abandonment or negligence, permitted another person to take them.

The Supreme court ruled that there can hardly be no dispute about the presence of the first three elements. Petitioner is a public officer occupying the position of a supply officer at the Office of the Provincial Engineer of Marinduque. In that capacity, he receives money or property belonging to the provincial government for which he is bound to account.

In the crime of malversation, all that is necessary for conviction is sufficient proof that the accountable officer had received public funds, that he did
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not have them in his possession when demand therefore was made, and that he could not satisfactorily explain his failure to do so. Direct evidence of personal misappropriation by the accused is hardly necessary as long as the accused cannot explain satisfactorily the shortage in his accounts.

The failure of a public officer to have duly forthcoming any public funds or property with which he is chargeable, upon demand by any duly authorized officer, is prima facie evidence that he has put such missing fund or property to personal uses. When the absence of funds is not due to the personal use thereof by the accused, the presumption is completely destroyed; in fact, the presumption is never deemed to have existed at all. The petitioner failed to overcome this prima facie evidence of guilt.

Petitioner does not at all dispute the fact that he did receive a cash advance. He also admitted receiving the demand letters of the provincial treasurer for him to submit a liquidation of the cash advance on two occasions, which he failed to do. He harps on Memorandum No. 88-63 issued by then Marinduque Governor Reyes that he can offset his unliquidated cash advance of from the commutation of his unused vacation and sick leave credits to justify his failure to liquidate his cash advance. He also invites attention to the fact that, even before the approval of his application for the commutation of his leave credits, he already paid his cash advance on January 27, 1995. Petitioners attempt at rationalization for his failure to liquidate is unacceptable. Memorandum No. 88-63 merely informed petitioner that his application for commutation may be granted provided that the commutated amount is first applied to his unliquidated cash advance. Nowhere in the said memorandum did it state that he is exempted from submitting his liquidation of the same cash advance. As it is, petitioner failed to liquidate and return his cash advance despite repeated demands. He was able to return the said amount only on January 27, 1995, that is, after almost seven (7) years from the last demand. The return of the said amount cannot be considered a mitigating circumstance analogous to voluntary surrender considering that it took petitioner almost seven (7) years to return the amount.

In malversation of public funds, payment, indemnification, or reimbursement of funds misappropriated, after the commission of the crime, does not extinguish the criminal liability of the offender which, at most, can merely
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affect the accused's civil liability thereunder and be considered a mitigating circumstance being analogous to voluntary surrender.

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Renato Segubiense 2006-0040

People v. Uy (G.R. No. 157399)


Facts:

The accused in this case accused Uy at the time stated in the information was a Treasurer at the NPC; accused Ernesto Gamus was at the time mentioned in the information was the Manager of Loan Management and Foreign Exchange Division (LOMAFED); Jaime Ochoa was the Senior Financial Analyst, LOMAFED, at the time mentioned in the information; Gamus does not have any custody to public funds; Ochoas position as Sr. Financial Analyst did not require him to take custody or control of public funds. In July of 1990, the National Power Corporation (NPC) became embroiled in a controversy involving the disappearance of P183,805,291.25 of its funds which were originally on deposit with the Philippine National Bank, NPC Branch (PNB) but were subsequently used to purchase two (2) managers/cashiers checks (the first check was in the amount of P70,000,000.00 while the second was for P113,805,291.25) in order to comply with its loan obligations to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). As NPCs debt in favor of ADB was in yen, NPC was obligated to follow an intricate and circuitous procedure of buying US dollars from a local bank (in this case, United Coconut Planters Bank or UCPB T.M. Kalaw Branch), which local bank was supposed to remit the US dollars to an off-shore bank. This off-shore bank (in this case, the Credit Lyonnais, New York) was then supposed to remit the yen equivalent of the US dollars to a third bank (in this case, the Bank of Japan, Tokyo Branch) which would then credit the funds to the account of the ADB. The contracts of NPC with the concerned banks (embodied in three 3 Payment Instructions) included a value date (which was July 13, 1990), the mere arrival of which would trigger the above-mentioned procedure, culminating in the payment to ADB of the NPC obligation in the foreign currency agreed upon.

On value date, per routing procedure, Credit Lyonnais (the second bank) remitted Japanese Yen 1,143,316,130.00 to the Bank of Japan, Tokyo Branch. Likewise, per routing procedure, UCPB T.M. Kalaw Branch was supposed to have remitted on said value date the amount of US$7,740,799.80. UCPB T.M. Kalaw, however, despite the fact that the PNB had already issued two (2)
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managers/cashiers checks for such purpose, did not make the agreed remittance to Credit Lyonnais, so Credit Lyonnais received no payment for the funds it had remitted to the Bank of Japan, Tokyo. Both the State and the accused have offered explanations for the failure of UCPB, T.M. Kalaw Branch to remit the dollar equivalent of P183,805,291.25 to Credit Lyonnais. Both explanations, naturally, were diametrically opposed.

The accused allegedly diverted the funds covered by the two PNB Managers checks by falsifying a commercial document called an Application for Cashiers Check (ACC) by inserting an account number (A/C #111-1212-04) of a private individual after the name of the payee, UCPB, T.M. Kalaw Branch. It claims that NPC did not authorize the insertion considering that the Payment Instruction (PI) issued by NPC instructing PNB to prepare a Managers check to be charged to NPCs savings account did not contain any account number. Through the insertion, the accused allegedly succeeded in diverting the funds from the UCPB, T.M. Kalaw Branch in favor of Raul Gutierrez, Raul Nicolas, George Aonuevo and Mara Aonuevo.

On May 28, 2002, the Sandiganbayan rendered its Decision, finding the accused Jaime B. Ochoa guilty of the crime of malversation of public funds thru falsification of commercial documents. On the ground of reasonable doubt accused Jose Ting Lan Uy, was acquitted. An alias warrant of arrest was issued against Raul Gutierrez.

Issue:

Whether or not the herein accused is guilty of Malversation of Public Funds thru Falsification of Commercial Documents?

Decision:

The Supreme Court ruled that to be found guilty of malversation, the prosecution must prove the the offender is a public officer; that he has the custody or control of funds or property by reason of the duties of his office; that the funds or property involved are public funds or property for which he is accountable; and that he has appropriated, taken or misappropriated, or has consented to, or through abandonment or negligence, permitted the taking by another person of, such funds or property.
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The Supreme Court further ruled that Malversation may be committed either through a positive act of misappropriation of public funds or property or passively through negligence by allowing another to commit such

misappropriation. To sustain a charge of malversation, there must either be criminal intent or criminal negligence and while the prevailing facts of a case may not show that deceit attended the commission of the offense, it will not preclude the reception of evidence to prove the existence of negligence because both are equally punishable in Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code.

More pointedly, the felony involves breach of public trust, and whether it is committed through deceit or negligence, the law makes it punishable and prescribes a uniform penalty therefor. Even when the information charges willful malversation, conviction for malversation through negligence may still be adjudged if the evidence ultimately proves that mode of commission of the offense.

The Supreme Court explicitly stated that even on the putative assumption that the evidence against petitioner yielded a case of malversation by negligence but the information was for intentional malversation, under the circumstances of this case his conviction under the first mode of misappropriation would still be in order. Malversation is committed either intentionally or by negligence. The dolo or the culpa present in the offense is only a modality in the perpetration of the felony. Even if the mode charged differs from mode proved, the same offense of malversation is involved and conviction thereof is proper. The question of whether or not an information charging the commission of the crime by means of deceit will preclude a conviction on the basis of negligence is neither novel nor of first impression. An accused charged with willful or intentional falsification can validly be convicted of falsification through negligence.

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Renato Segubiense 2006-0040

Chan v. Sandiganbayan (G. R. No. 149613)


Facts:

In November 1989, petitioner was hired as Accounting Clerk II and assigned at the Regional Office of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Cebu City, discharging the function of Cashier or Collection Officer. Petitioner went on leave from December 7 to 27, 1995. On December 27, 1995 Josephine Daclan, the auditor from the Commission on Audit (COA) assigned to the NBI, conducted a routine audit examination of the accountability of petitioner. Petitioner being then on leave, the audit was conducted upon Delza Bas (Bas) who was officially designated by the Regional Director to act as Collection Officer during her absence. The auditor found that all collections for the period beginning December 7, 1995 up to the date of the audit, December 27, 1995, were accounted for, as reflected in her Cash Report dated December 27, 1995 signed by Bas.

On January 24, 1996, the same auditor conducted another audit examination. Since petitioner had already reported for work, the audit covered the period beginning June 15, 1995. The auditor found a shortage of P290,228.00 in petitioner's cash accountability which was reflected in her Cash Report dated January 24, 1996 on which petitioner affixed her signature. The auditor thus issued a demand letter to petitioner to restitute the missing funds and explain the shortage.

The COA Region VII thus filed a complaint against petitioner for Malversation of Public Funds in the amount of P333,360.00 with the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman (Visayas) on April 10, 1996. The said office found probable cause against petitioner and recommended the filing of the corresponding information against her.

Petitioner was thus indicted before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City for Malversation of Public Funds.

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Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner herein is guilty of the crime of Malversation of Public Funds?

Decision:

The Supreme Court ruled that the petition lacks merit and guilty of te crime charge. In affirming the courts below the Supreme Court pointed out the following reasons, that the fact that Bas was given official designation during all the times that she acted as collection officer, petitioner's liability is not, by that fact alone, mitigated. Petitioner could still be held liable for the amount unremitted by Bas if it can be shown that the latter was under her supervision. The questioned amount on time because it is incumbent upon him to exercise the strictest supervision on the person he designated, otherwise, he would suffer the consequences of the acts of his designated employee through negligence. In short, by failing to exercise strict supervision he could be liable for malversation through negligence. The auditor thus committed no error when she charged to petitioner's account the shortage in the collections actually done by Bas. The failure of a public officer to have duly forthcoming any public funds or property with which he is chargeable, upon demand by any duly authorized officer, shall be prima facie evidence that he has put such missing funds or property to personal use. The petitioner not only did omit to report the shortages of Bas to the proper authority upon her discovery thereof; she even practically admitted to having assisted Bas in covering up such shortages. Petitioner did not only lend Bas those amounts given on November 7, 9, and 15, 1995. She admittedly extended 'vales to her and to others, also out of public funds.

The grant of loans through the "vale" system is a clear case of an accountable officer consenting to the improper or unauthorized use of public funds by other persons, which is punishable by the law. To tolerate such practice is to give a license to every disbursing officer to conduct a lending operation with the use of public funds. The Supreme Court further ruled that the alleged acquiescence of petitioner's superior, even if true, is not a valid defense. The fact that petitioner did not personally use the missing funds is not a valid defense and will not exculpate him from his criminal liability.

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Miguel Paolo Soliman 2010-0204

Art. 220: Illegal Use of Public Funds or Property


Tetangco v. Ombudsman (G.R. No. 156427)
Facts:

Petitioner filed a complaint against respondent, alleging the latter

gave

Php 3,000 cash financial assistance to the chairman and Php 1,000 to each tanod in a certain barangay. When it was not justified as a lawful expense, the latter refunded the amount from the City of Manila.

Respondent asserted that the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over the case, but it is lodged in the COMELEC instead. He alse maintained his position on the validity of the expenses made.

Issue:

Whether or not Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the case against respondent?

Decision:

It is well-settled that the Court will not ordinarily interfere with the Ombudsmans determination of whether or not probable cause exists except when it commits grave abuse of discretion. Grave abuse of discretion exists where a power is exercised in an arbitrary, capricious, whimsical or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility so patent and gross as to amount to evasion of positive duty or virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by, or in contemplation of law.

The Ombudsman found no evidence to prove probable cause. Probable cause signifies a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious mans belief that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged. Here, the

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Complaint merely alleged that the disbursement for financial assistance was neither authorized by law nor justified as a lawful expense. Complainant did not cite any law or ordinance that provided for an original appropriation of the amount used for the financial assistance cited and that it was diverted from the appropriation it was intended for.

The elements of the offense, also known as technical malversation, are: (1) the offender is an accountable public officer; (2) he applies public funds or property under his administration to some public use; and (3) the public use for which the public funds or property were applied is different from the purpose for which they were originally appropriated by law or ordinance. It is clear that for technical malversation to exist, it is necessary that public funds or properties had been diverted to any public use other than that provided for by law or ordinance. To constitute the crime, there must be a diversion of the funds from the purpose for which they had been originally appropriated by law or ordinance. Patently, the third element is not present in this case.

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Miguel Paolo Soliman 2010-0204

Abdulla v. People (G.R. No. 150129)


Facts:

Convicted by the Sandiganbayan in its Crim. Case No. 23261 of the crime of illegal use of public funds defined and penalized under Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code, or more commonly known as technical malversation, appellant Norma A. Abdulla is now before this Court on petition for review under Rule 45.

Along with Nenita Aguil and Mahmud Darkis, appellant was charged under an Information, both public officers, being then the President and cashier, respectively, of the Sulu State College, and as such by reason of their positions and duties are accountable for public funds under their administration, while in the performance of their functions, conspiring and confederating with Darkis, also a public officer, being then the Administrative Officer V of the said school, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, without lawful authority, apply for the payment of wages of casuals, the amount of Php 40,000, which amount was appropriated for the payment of the salary differentials of secondary school teachers of the said school, to the damage and prejudice of public service. Appellants co-accused, Nenita Aguil and Mahmud Darkis, were both acquitted. Only appellant was found guilty and sentenced by the Sandiganbayan in its decision. Upon motion for reconsideration, the Sandiganbayan amended appellants sentence by deleting the temporary special disqualification imposed upon her.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner is guilty of technical malversation?

Decision:

The presumption of criminal intent will not automatically apply to all charges of technical malversation because disbursement of public funds for
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public use is per se not an unlawful act. Here, appellant cannot be said to have committed an unlawful act when she paid the obligation of the Sulu State College to its employees in the form of terminal leave benefits such employees were entitled to under existing civil service laws. There is no dispute that the money was spent for a public purpose payment of the wages of laborers working on various projects in the municipality. It is pertinent to note the high priority which laborers wages enjoy as claims against the employers funds and resources.

Settled is the rule that conviction should rest on the strength of evidence of the prosecution and not on the weakness of the defense. Absent this required quantum of evidence would mean exoneration for accused-appellant. The Sandiganbayans improper reliance on Sec. 5(b) of Rule 131 does not save the day for the prosecutions deficiency in proving the existence of criminal intent nor could it ever tilt the scale from the constitutional presumption of innocence to that of guilt.

The Court notes that there is no particular appropriation for salary differentials of secondary school teachers of the Sulu State College in RA 6688. The third element of the crime of technical malversation which requires that the public fund used should have been appropriated by law is therefore absent. The authorization given by the Department of Budget and Management for the use of the Php 40,000.00 allotment for payment of salary differentials of 34 secondary school teachers is not an ordinance or law contemplated in Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code.

Appellant herein, who used the remainder of the Php 40,000 released by the DBM for salary differentials, for the payment of the terminal leave benefits of other school teachers of the Sulu State College, cannot be held guilty of technical malversation in the absence, as here, of any provision in RA 6688 specifically appropriating said amount for payment of salary differentials only. In fine, the third and fourth elements of the crime defined in Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code are lacking in this case.

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Miguel Paolo Soliman 2010-0204

Parungao v. Sandiganbayan (G.R. No. 96025)


Facts:

Petitioner was charged with malversation of public funds allegedly committed by him as a municipal treasurer. After hearing, the Sandiganbayan acquitted him of malversation of public funds but convicted him instead of illegal use of public funds.

Issue: Whether or not petitioner can be convicted of illegal use of public funds?

Decision:

The 1987 Constitution mandates that the accused, in all criminal prosecutions, shall enjoy the right to be informed of the nature and cause of accusation against him. From this fundamental precept proceeds the rule that the accused may be convicted only of the crime with which he is charged. An exception to this rule, albeit constitutionally permissible, is the rule on variance in Section 4, Rule 120 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure.

The essential elements of the crime of malversation are: (a) the offender is a public officer; (b) by reason of his duties he is accountable for public funds and property; and (c) he appropriates, takes, or misappropriates, or permits other persons to take such public funds or property, or otherwise is guilty of misappropriation or malversation of such funds or property.

The essential elements of this crime, more commonly known as technical malversation, are: (a) the offender is an accountable public officer; (b) he applies public funds or property under his administration to some public use; and (c) the public use for which the public funds or property were applied is different from the purpose for which they were originally appropriated by law ordinance.

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A comparison of the two articles reveals that their elements are entirely distinct and different from the other. In malversation of public funds, the offender misappropriates public funds for his own personal use or allows any other person to take such public funds for the latter's personal use. In technical malversation, the public officer applies public funds under his administration not for his or another's personal use, but to a public use other than that for which the fund was appropriated by law or ordinance.

Technical malversation is, therefore, not included in nor does it necessarily include the crime of malversation of public funds charged in the information. Since the acts constituting the crime of technical malversation were not alleged in the information, and since technical malversation does not include, or is not included in the crime of malversation of public funds, he cannot resultantly be convicted of technical malversation.

Considering however that all the evidence given during the trial in the malversation case is the same evidence that will be presented and evaluated to determine his guilt or innocence in the technical malversation case in the event that one is filed and in order to spare the petitioner from the rigors and harshness compounded by another trial, not to mention the unnecessary burden on our overloaded judicial system, the Court deems it best to pass upon the issue of whether or not the petitioner indeed is guilty of illegal use of public funds.

Lacsamana's testimony shows that the CRBI fund is a general fund, and the utilization of this fund specifically for the concreting of the Barangay Jalung Road was merely an internal arrangement between the Department of Public Works and Highways and the barangay captain and was not particularly provided for by law or ordinance. There is no dispute that the money was spent for a public purposepayment of the wages of laborers working on various projects in the municipality. It is pertinent to note the high priority which laborers' wages enjoy as claims against the employers' funds and resources. In the absence of a law or ordinance appropriating the CRBI fund for the concreting of the Barangay Jalung Road, the petitioner cannot be declared guilty of the crime of illegal use of public funds.

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Eddie Tamondong 2009-0178

Title 8: Crimes Againt Persons


Art. 247: Death or Physical Injuries Inflicted under Exceptional Circumstances
People v. Gelaver
Facts:

Eduardo Gelaver was charged with parricide for the killing of his wife Victoira by multiple stab wounds at the latters residence. Husband and wife were already living separately at the time of the killing.

The accused interposes the exempting circumstance embodied in Art. 247 of the RPC (Death Under Exceptional Circumstances). He claimed that he only knew her wifes residence when her daughter told him the night before that she (the wife) was living in front of the church). And so, he went there with the intention of repairing the marriage only to find her wife having sex with her paramour (the accused says that he doesnt know the paramours name) upon his (Eduardos) arrival. And it was then that the paramour took a knife from the headboard and tried to stab Eduardo but Eduardo was able to wrest the knife from the paramour. And when he tried to stab the paramour, he was able to duck whereby the stab wounds intended for the lover fell on his wife. The paramour, the accused claims, was able to get dressed and ran outside the house to avoid his wrath.

Nevertheless, he was still found guilty by the RTC of parricide.

Issue:

Should Eduardo be granted the exceptional circumstance under Art. 247 of the RPC?

Decision:

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In order to appreciate Art. 247 of the RPC, the accused must be able to prove that: lover; 1) he/she/ catches the other spouse by surprise having sex with a

2) as a result of the rage, the accused kills or inflicts physical injuries to

the spouse and/or the lover; and 3) the accused never consented to the carnal acts done by the spouse. Unfortunately for Eduardo, he wasnt able to establish the existence of the aforesaid circumstances. His version of how things went down were too full of inconsistencies. First off, he stabbed his wife several times which is not consistent with an accidental killing (because he claimed he was aiming for the lover). Another was that he claimed that the paramour was able to GET DRESSED while under attack. And another was that even his daughter testified that she did not tell her father anything about her mothers residence or whereabouts as even she did not know where her mother was staying.

So the guilty verdict is sustained.

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Eddie Tamondong 2009-0178

People v. Amamongpong
Facts:

Amamompong was charged with homicide for the killing of SPO1 Flores in their house. The accused contends that not only was the killing done under exceptional circumstances (Art. 247 of the RPC), but that he was also justified in killing Flores under Art 11 of the RPC because his act was done in defense of the honor of his wife.

Although a prosecution witness testified that he saw the accused actually hold a scythe to hack Flores in the first floor of the house, the accused counters that the incident took place in the bedroom located at the 2 nd floor of their residence. And it was there that he saw Flores naked from the waist down attempting to have sex with his wife. It was then that he pursued Flores with the scythe and thereby wounding him. And when the victim tried to run, Flores also drew his gun but the accused was quick to wrestle the gun away and use it against Flores. The accused whereby emptied the bullets on the victim.

Another prosecution witness testified that although the accused claims this all happened in the second floor, large quantities of blood was found in the first floor and even on the stairs and that on the second floor, no apparent signs of struggle can be seen as all the furniture and appliances were in order. And except for the victims bloody carcass, nothing else seemed out of the ordinary.

But Amamompong was steadfast in his defense.

Issue:

Should the accused be afforded the benefit under Art. 11 as well as Art. 247 of the RPC?

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Decision: No. Not only is the accused version of the events not credible, but the fact that the accused claims BOTH Art 11 and 247 of the RPC is contradictory in itself. One cannot claim that rage was brought upon when an accused sees his wife engaged in sexual intercourse willingly with a lover, and at same time claim that his acts were to defend the honor of his wife.

Add to this the testimony of the prosecution witness that he saw the accused strike the victim with a scythe on the first floor, as well as the forensic evidence pointing to the fact that the body of the victim could have been just carried on the second floor to make it seem like the victim was attempting to have intercourse, then the Court has no reason to reverse the finding of the trial court that Art 11 and 247 of the RPC can not be appreciated in the case at bar.

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Eddie Tamondong 2009-0178

People v. Oyanib
Facts:

Michael Oyanib was charged with parricide and homicide for the killing of his wife and her lover at Michaels wifes residence.

The following facts have been established:

That Michael and his wife Tita started living separately a year earlier. Michael tried to win back Tita but the latter was openly flaunting his new lover Jesus Esquirdo.

In one occasion, Micheal and Jesus almost came to blows when Michael saw his wife and Jesus in a loving embrace at the plaza. After this incident, Jesus and Tita were heard threatening Michael that they would kill him the next time they see each other. A day before the killings, One of Michael and Titas children was asked by the school to call her parents for a meeting. But because Michael was indisposed, he went to his wifes residence the next day to ask her if she could come. But because of the threats of Jesus and his wife in the previous incident, he brought with him a hunting knife. Unfortunately, when the accused arrived at Titas house, he saw Tita and Jesus having sex. Jesus launched at Michael but he (Mike) was able to draw his knife and stab Jesus. Tita, meanwhile got a hold of a liquor bottle whereby she attacked Michael. And so, Michael also stabbed Tita.

But the RTC still found Mike guilty.

Issue

Should the exempting circumstance under Art. 247 be applied under the circumstances?

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Decision:

In order for Art. 247 to apply, the accused or the defense must be able to show the following elements: 1) he/she/ catches the other spouse by surprise having sex with a lover; 2) as a result of the rage, the accused kills or inflicts 3) the accused never

physical injuries to the spouse and/or the lover; and consented to the carnal acts done by the spouse.

The evidence show that all three elements are present in this case. Michael was still married to Tita (albeit living separately), he caught his wife and Jesus by surprise having sex, and Michael certainly did not approve of their relationship, much less their carnal act.

The fact that Mike brought with him a hunting knife is consistent with his excuse that he was fearful of an attack by either Jesus or Tita because of past events.

So the decision of the RTC is modified. Mike is found guilty only under Art. 247 of the RPC.

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Mark Vergara 2008-0323

Art. 248: Murder


People vs Mallari (G.R. No. 145993)
Facts:

While Joseph and Liza (wife) were watching a basketball game at the barangay basketball court, Rufino and his brothers, who were then carrying bladed weapons, arrived and attempted to stab Joseph; but Joseph was able to run away. When they were not able to catch up with him, Rufino boarded and drove the truck parked near the basketball court and continued chasing Joseph until the truck ran over the latter, which caused his instantaneous death.

Appreciating the qualifying circumstance of use of motor vehicle, it convicted Rufino of murder.

Issue:

Whether or not the use of a motor vehicle is a qualifying circumstance for the crime of murder?

Decision:

The evidence shows that Rufino deliberately used his truck in pursuing Joseph. Upon catching up with him, Rufino hit him with the truck, as a result of which Joseph died instantly. It is therefore clear that the truck was the means used by Rufino to perpetrate the killing of Joseph.

The case of People v. Muoz cited by Rufino finds no application to the present case. In the said case, the police patrol jeep was merely used by the accused therein in looking for the victim and in carrying the body of the victim to the place where it was dumped. The accused therein shot the victim, which caused the latters death. In the present case, the truck itself was used to kill the victim by running over him. Under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, a person who kills another by means of a motor vehicle is guilty of murder. Thus, the use of motor vehicle

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qualifies the killing to murder. The penalty for murder is reclusion perpetua to death.

In view of the absence of an aggravating circumstance and the presence of one mitigating circumstance, reclusion perpetua, not death, should be the penalty to be imposed on Rufino.

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Mark Vergara 2008-0323

People vs Gonzales (G.R. No. 139542)


Facts:

Noel Andres overtook the car driven of the accused and cut cross his path. Noel Andres alighted from his vehicle and confronted Inocencio. Noel later on also had an argument with Dino Gonzalez, the son of the accused. Inocencio seeing his son having confrontation with Noel, got his gun to protect Dino. Accused fired on Noel Andres but instead hit and caused the fatal injuries to the victims John Kenneth Andres, Kevin Valdez and Feliber Andres resulting to the ultimate death of the latter. The Trial court rendered judgement finding that the shooting was attended by the qualifying circumstance of treachery and held the appellant guilty of the complex crime of murder for the death of Feliber Andres and for two counts of frustrated murder for the injuries sustained by Kenneth Andres and Kevin Valdez.

Issue:

Whether or not the qualifying circumstance of treachery is present for the crime of murder?

Decision:

The fact that the appellant fired his gun from behind the victim does not by itself amount to treachery. There is no evidence on record that the appellant deliberately positioned himself behind the victim to gain advantage over him when he fired the shot. On the contrary, the evidence before us reveals that the position of the appellants car was not of his own doing but it became so when Noel Andres overtook his car and cut off his path.

Appellant did not act belligerently towards Noel Andres even after the latter cut off the appellants path. Andres stated in court that the appellant did not alight from his car nor opened his window until he, Andres, tapped on it. For his part Gonzalez categorically stated in court that he did not point his gun nor threatened Andres during their short spat. Gonzalez, although he had his gun in
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his car, did not react to Andres cursing until the latter was having an altercation with the appellants son, Dino. Gonzalez claimed that he perceived that his son was in imminent danger.

There is no indication that Gonzalez had any opportunity to see the passengers when he fired the shot. The totality of the evidence on record fails to support a conclusion that Gonzalez deliberately employed the mode of attack to gain undue advantage over the intended nor the actual victim. Without any decisive evidence to the contrary, treachery cannot be considered; thus the crime committed is homicide.

As regards the injuries sustained by the two children we find that the crime committed are two counts of slight physical injuries. The intent to kill determines whether the crime committed is physical injuries or homicide and such intent is made manifest by the acts of the accused which are undoubtedly intended to kill the victim. In a case wherein the accused did not know that a person was hiding behind a table who was hit by a stray bullet causing superficial injuries requiring treatment for three days, the crime committed is slight physical injuries. In case of doubt as to the homicidal intent of the accused, he should be convicted of the lesser offense of physical injuries.

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Mark Vergara 2008-0323

People vs Avecilla (G.R. No. 117033)


Facts:

Accused-appellant arrived at the basketball court located on Dapo Street, Pandacan, Manila, and for no apparent reason, suddenly fired a gun in the air. Four meters from the basketball court, on a nearby alley, he initiated an argument with the group of Boy Manalaysay, Jimmy Tolentino and Macario Afable. Afable tried to pacify accused-appellant, whereupon, the latter placed his left arm around Afable's neck and shot him pointblank on the abdomen. Afable ran toward the alley and accused-appellant ran after him. Another shot rang out, so one of the bystanders, Carlos Taganas, went to the alley and there, he saw accused-appellant and Afable grappling for possession of the gun. The Chief Barangay Tanod arrived and was able to wrest the gun away from accusedappellant, who immediately fled from the scene of the incident. Afable died afterwards after being rushed to the Philippine General Hospital.

Regional Trial Court of Manila, rendered judgment convicting accusedappellant of the crime of Qualified Illegal Possession of Firearm, sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

Issue:

Whether or not the illegal possession of firearms by the accused is a qualifying circumstance for murder?

Decision:

Republic Act No. 8294, which took effect on July 6, 1994. The pertinent provision of the said law provides:

SECTION 1. Unlawful Manufacture, Sale, Acquisition, Disposition or Possession of Firearms or Ammunition or Instruments Used or Intended to be Used in the Manufacture of Firearms or Ammunition. The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period and a fine of not less than Fifteen thousand

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pesos (P15,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person who shall unlawfully manufacture, deal in, acquire, dispose, or possess any low powered firearm, such as rimfire handgun, .380 or .32 and other firearm of similar firepower, part of firearm, ammunition, or machinery, tool or instrument used or intended to be used in the manufacture of any firearm or ammunition: Provided, that no other crime was committed.

If homicide or murder is committed with the use of an unlicensed firearm, such use of an unlicensed firearm such use of an unlicensed firearm shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance.

It is clear from the foregoing that where murder or homicide results from the use of an unlicensed firearm, the crime is no longer qualified illegal possession, but murder or homicide, as the case may be.

The crime of illegal possession of firearm, in its simple form, is committed only where the unlicensed firearm is not used to commit any of the crimes of murder, homicide, rebellion, insurrection, sedition or attempted coup d'etat. Otherwise, the use of unlicensed firearm would be treated either: (1) as an essential ingredient in the crimes of rebellion, insurrection, sedition or attempted coup d'etat; or (2) as an aggravating circumstance in murder or homicide.

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Mark Vergara 2008-0323

Art. 249: Homicide


Navarro vs Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 121087)
Facts:

Petitioner Navarro and Lingan had a heated altercation. As Lingan was about to turn away, petitioner Navarro hit him with the handle of his pistol above the left eyebrow. Lingan fell on the floor, blood flowing down his face. He tried to get up, but petitioner Navarro gave him a fist blow on the forehead which floored him.

Capt. Coronado, the station commander, called petitioner Navarro to his office, while a policeman took Lingan to the Quezon Memorial Hospital. The station manager of DWTI, Boy Casaada, arrived and, learning that Lingan had been taken to the hospital, proceeded there. But Lingan died from his injuries.

Issue:

Whether or not there is an intention to kill on the part of the accused?

Decision:

The remarks of Lingan, which immediately preceded the act of petitioner, constituted sufficient provocation. In People v. Macaso, we appreciated this mitigating circumstance in favor of the accused, a policeman, who shot a motorist after the latter had repeatedly taunted him with defiant words. Hence, this mitigating circumstance should be considered in favor of petitioner Navarro. Furthermore, the mitigating circumstance that the offender had no intention to commit so grave a wrong as that committed should also be appreciated in favor of petitioner. The frantic exclamations of petitioner Navarro after the scuffle, that it was Lingan who provoked him shows that he had no intent to kill the latter. Thus, this mitigating circumstance should be taken into account in determining the penalty that should be imposed on petitioner Navarro.

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The allowance of this mitigating circumstance is consistent with the rule that criminal liability shall be incurred by any person committing a felony although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended. In People v. Castro, the mitigating circumstance of lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong as that committed was appreciated in favor of the accused while finding him guilty of homicide.

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Mark Vergara 2008-0323

People vs Ullep (G.R. No. 132547)


Facts:

Wapili, who appeared to have completely gone crazy, kept on running without any particular direction. Leydan asked for police assistance. SPO1 Ulep together with SPO1 Espadera and SPO2 Pillo arrived at the scene on board an Anfra police service jeep. The three (3) police officers, all armed with M-16 rifles, alighted from the jeep when they saw the naked Wapili approaching them. The kind of weapon Wapili was armed with is disputed. The police claimed that he was armed with a bolo and a rattan stool, while Wapili's relatives and neighbors said he had no bolo, but only a rattan stool. SPO1 Ulep fired a warning shot in the air and told Wapili to put down his weapons or they would shoot him. But Wapili retorted "pusila!" ("fire!") and continued advancing towards the police officers. When Wapili was only about two (2) to three (3) meters away from them, SPO1 Ulep shot the victim with his M-16 rifle, hitting him in various parts of his body. As the victim slumped to the ground, SPO1 Ulep came closer and pumped another bullet into his head and literally blew his brains out

Issue:

Whether or not the killing was attended with the qualifying circumstance of treachery for the crime of murder?

Decision:

There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing means, methods, or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to insure its execution, without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make. Considering the rule that treachery cannot be inferred but must be proved as fully and convincingly as the crime itself, any doubt as to its existence must be resolved in favor of accusedappellant. Accordingly, for failure of the prosecution to prove treachery to qualify the killing to murder, accused-appellant may only be convicted of homicide.

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Indeed, to hold him criminally liable for murder and sentence him to death under the circumstances would certainly have the effect of demoralizing other police officers who may be called upon to discharge official functions under similar or identical conditions. We would then have a dispirited police force who may be half-hearted, if not totally unwilling, to perform their assigned duties for fear that they would suffer the same fate as that of accused-appellant.

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Mark Vergara 2008-0323

People vs Antonio (G.R. No. 128900)


Facts:

Arnulfo Arnie Tuadles succumbed instantaneously to a single gunshot wound right between the eyes, inflicted with deadly precision by the bullet of a .9mm caliber Beretta pistol of appellant Antonio.

Prior to the shooting, appellant and the victim spent several hours having fun playing "pusoy dos." The situation turned ugly, however, when Tuadles could not pay to appellant Antonio his alleged winnings. An argument arose, with appellant Antonio and Tuadles standing face to face three (3) feet away from each other.

According SG Bobis who witnessed the said crime; Tuadles and Antonio were arguing. Antonio even called out: Sarge! Sarge! Sarge! Just before the shooting, Bobis heard Antonio saying: Putang ina ka kasi.

Issue:

Whether or not the shooting was attended with the qualifying circumstance of treachery for the crime of murder? Decision:

If Antonio had consciously adopted means and methods to kill Tuadles, there was no reason to call for a Sergeant (Sarge) or any eyewitness for that matter.

The aggravating circumstance of treachery is not present when decision to attack was arrived at on the spur of the moment.

The trial court's ruling that the mere suddenness of an attack makes the killing a murder because of treachery is not consistent with the decisions of this Court.

To the point is our ruling in the case of People v. Alacar, where we held that there was no treachery where the attempt to kill resulted from a verbal altercation. More recently, in People v. Salvador, we pronounced that:

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There would be no treachery when the victim was placed on guard, such as when a heated argument preceded the attack, or when the victim was standing face to face with his assailants and the initial assault could not have been unforseen.

Antonio can only be convicted of the lesser crime of homicide under Article 249 of the Revised Penal code.

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Arlyn Barcelon 2006-0021

Art. 251: Death Caused in a Tumultous Affray


People v. Anecito Unlagada y Suanque (G.R. No. 141080)
Facts:

On January 27, 1989 at around 9:00 in the evening Danilo Laurel left his house together with Edwin Selda, a visitor from Bacolod City, to attend a public dance at Negros Occidental. After two hours, Danilo asked Edwin to take a short break from dancing to attend to their personal necessities outside the dance hall. Once outside, they decided to have a drink and bought beer.

Not long after, Danilo, halfway on his first bottle, left to look for a place to relieve himself. According to Edwin, he was only about three meters from Danilo who was relieving himself when a short, dark bearded man walked past him, approached Danilo and stabbed him at the side. Danilo retaliated by striking his assailant with half- filled bottle of beer. Almost simultaneously, a group of men numbering of seven (7), ganged up on Danilo and hit him with assorted weapons. Edwin, who was petrified, could only watch helplessly as Danilo was being mauled and overpowered by his assailants. Danilo fell to the ground and died before he could be given medical attention.

Edwin Selda confirmed the identity of the suspect who was then in the custody of the police. Thereat, he executed an affidavit and affirmed before the police authorities, that the man under detention, Anecito Unlagada, was the same man who stabbed his friend Danilo. The accused assails his conviction.

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court erred in finding Unlagada guilty of murder instead of tumultuous affray under Art. 251 of the Revised Penal Code?

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Decision:

Basic is the rule that the defense of alibi should be rejected when the identity of the accused has been sufficiently and positively established by an eyewitness because alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification . A tumultuous affray takes place when a quarrel occurs between several persons who engage in a confused and tumultuous manner, in the course of which a person is killed or wounded and the author thereof cannot be ascertained. The quarrel in the instant case is between a distinct group of individuals , one of whom was sufficiently identified as the principal author of the killing, as against a common, particular victim. It is not, as the defense suggests, a tumultuous affray within the meaning of Art. 251 of The Revised Penal Code, that is, a melee or free- for- all, where several persons not comprising definite or identifiable groups attack one another in a confused and disorganized manner, resulting in the death or injury of one or some of them.

Verily, the attack was qualified by treachery. The deceased was relieving himself, fully unaware of any danger to his person when suddenly the accused walked past witness Edwin Selda, approached the victim and stabbed him at the side. There was hardly any risk at all to accused- appellant; the attack was completely without warning, the victim was caught by surprise, and given no chance to put up any defense.

Wherefore, the decision of conviction appealed from is affirmed.

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Arlyn Barcelon 2006-0021

Sison vs. People (G.R. No. 108280-83)


Facts:

Tension and animosity between Cory loyalists and Marcos loyalists broke into violence. On July 27, 198, it resulted in the murder of Stephen Salcedo, a known Coryista.

The prosecution established that on July 27, 1986, a rally was scheduled to be held at the Luneta by the Marcos loyalist. They applied a permit to hold a rally but it was denied. Despite this setback, three thousand gathered at the Rizal Monument led by Oliver Lozano and Benjamin Nuega. No ticket could be produced. Colonel Dula Torres gave them ten minutes to disperse. Atty. Lozano turned towards his group and said gulpihin ninyo ang lahat ng mga Cory infiltrators. The police pushed the crowds and used tear gas to disperse them.

At about 4:00 pm, a small group of loyalists converged at the Chinese Garden. Annie Ferrer was there and they informed her of the dispersal and Ferrer angrily ordered them gulpihin ninyo ang mga Cory hecklers! A few minutes later, she was arrested by the police. Somebody then shouted kailangan gumanti tayo ngayon! a commotion ensued and Renato Banculo, cigarette vendor, saw the loyalists attacking the persons in yellow. The man in yellow t- shirt was Salcedo and his pursuers appeared to be Marcos loyalists. Thay caught Salcedo and boxed and kicked and mauled him. He was hit on various parts of his body. Sumilang tried to pacify the maulers so he could extricate Salcedo from them but the maulers pursued Salcedo. Sumilang was able to tow Salcedo but Billosos emerged from behind Sumilang as another man boxed Salcedo on the head. De Los Santas, Tan boxed Salcedo while Pacadar. Tamayo boxed Salcedo on the left jaw, Sision repeatedly boxed him.

Salcedo managed to get away but accused Tan, Pacadar pursued him, mauling Sumilang in the process. Salcedo pleadfed for his life. The mauling resumed at the Rizal monument and continued along Roxas Boulevard until Salcedo collap[sed and lost consciousness. Sumilang with a help of traffic enforcer brought Salcedo to Medical Center Manila but was refused admission. So they took him to PGH where he died upon arrival.

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The trial court rendered decision finding Romeo Sison, Nilo Pacadar, Joel Tan, Richard De Los Santos and Joselito Tamayo guilty as principals in the crime of murder qualified by treachery. Ferrer was convicted as an accomplice.

The Court of Appeals modified the decision of the trial court by acquitting Ferrer but increasing the penalty of the rest of the accused except for Tamayo. The court convicts Tamayo of homicide.

Issue:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in finding that the crime committed is murder and not death caused in a tumultuous affray?

Decision:

For Article 251 of the Revised Penal Code to apply; it must be established that: (1) there be several persons; (2) that they did not compose groups organized for the common purpose of assaulting and attacking each other reciprocally; (3) these several persons quarreled and assaulted one another in a confused and tumultuous manner;(4) someone was killed in the course of the affray; (5) it cannot be ascertained who actually killed the deceased; and (6) that the person or persons who inflicted serious physical injuries or who used violence be can be identified.

A tumultuous affray takes place when a quarrel occurs between several persons and they engage in a confused and tumultuous affray, in the course of which some person is killed or wounded and the author thereof cannot be ascertained.

The quarrel in the instant case, if it can be called a quarrel, was between one distinct group and one individual. Confusion may have occurred because of the police dispersal of the rallyists, but this confusion subsided eventually after the loyalists fled to Maria Orosa Street. It was only a while later after said dispersal that one distinct group identified as loyalists picked on one defenseless individual and attacked him repeatedly, taking turns in inflicting punches, kicks and blows on him. There was no confusion and tumultuous quarrel or affray, nor was there a reciprocal aggression at this stage of the incident.

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As the lower courts found, the victims assailants were numerous by as much as fifty in number and were armed with stones with which they hit the victim. They took advantage of their superior strength and excessive force and frustrated any attempt by Salcedo to escape and free himself. Salcedo pleaded for mercy but they ignored his pleas until he finally lost unconsciousness. The deliberate and prolonged use of superior strength on a defenseless victim qualifies the killing of murder.

Wherefore, the decision appealed from is affirmed and modified.

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Arlyn Barcelon 2006-0021

People v. Cresenciano Maramara (G.R. No. 110994)


Facts:

The evidence shows that a benefit dance sponsored by the Calpi Elementary School PTA of which accused- appellant is the president, was held in the yard of accused- appellants house in Brgy. Calpi, Claveria Masbate in the evening of November 18, 1991. At about 12 midnight, while Ricardo Donato was dancing with certain Rowena Del Rosario, one Dante Arce, a friend of the accused- appellant, approached Ricardo Donato and boxed him on the chest. Frightened, Rowena ran away while Ricardo Donato scampered toward the fence for safety. Miguelito Donato was about two meters away from where Ricardo stayed at the fence. Not for long, accused- appellant took his hand- gun tucked in his waist and fired at the victim Miguelito Donato, hitting the latter at the left breast. Ricardo Donato tried to help his fallen brother Miguelito but somebody struck Ricardos head with an iron bar which knocked him out for about 3 minutes. When Ricardo regained consciousness, he hurried home and informed his parents of what happened.

Their father immediately went to the crime scene and rushed Miguelito to the Pio Duran Hospital where the latter died early in the morning of the next day. Before Miguelito expired, Regarder Donato, the father, asked who shot him and Miguelito replied that it was accused- appellant.

The autopsy report revealed that aside from gunshot, the body of Miguelito bore lacerated wounds. That the wounds could have inflicted by more than two persons.

The trial court ruled against the accused- appellant and was held guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder.

Issue:

Whether or not Maramara should be held liable for tumultuous affray instead of murder?
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Held: There is no merit in the accused- appellants position that he should be held liable only for death caused in a tumultuous affray under Article 251 of the Revised Penal Code. It was in such situation that accused came at the scene and joined the fray purportedly to pacify the protagonists when Miguelito attacked him causing four (4) stab wounds in different parts of his body- two on the stomach, one on the left nipple, and one on the left arm. Then accused- appellant with his hand- gun shot Miguelito.

Assuming that a rumble or a free- for- all fight occurred at the benefit dance, Article 251 of the Revised Penal Code cannot apply because prosecution witness Ricardo and Regarder Donato positively identified accused- appellant as Miguelitos killer.

While accused- appellant himself suffered multiple stab wounds which, at first blush, may lend verity to his claim that a rumble ensued and that victim Miguelito inflicted upon him these wounds, the evidence is adequate to consider them as a mitigating circumstance because the defenses version stands discredited in light of the more credible version of the prosecution as to the circumstances surrounding Miguelitos death.

Wherefore, the Court modifies the judgment appealed from. The Court finds Cresenciano Maramara guilty beyond reasonable doubt of homicide.

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Jasmine Calaycay 2005-0049

Art. 254: Discharge of Firearms


Dado v. People (G.R. No. 131421)
Facts:

On May 25, 1992, in order to intercept cattle rustlers from Barangay Laguinding, Sultan Kudarat, the Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat Police Station formed three teams, which composed of petitioner SPO4 Geromino Dado and CAFGU members Francisco Eraso, Alfredo Balinas, and Rufo Alga. Alfredo

Balinas and Rufo Alga were both armed with M14 armalite rifles, while petitioner was armed with a caliber .45 pistol and accused Francisco Eraso was carrying an M16 armalite rifle. The team saw somebody approaching who was half-

naked. When he was about 5 meters away from the team, Balinas told Eraso to wait, but before Balinas could beam his flash light, Eraso fired his M16 armalite rifle at the approaching man. Thereafter, petitioner fired a single shot from his .45 caliber pistol. Petitioner admitted that when he heard the rapid gun burst, he did not turn to face the source thereof and instead fired his .45 caliber pistol in front of him purposely to demoralize their enemy.

The victim turned out to be Silvestre "Butsoy" Balinas, the nephew of Alfredo Balinas and not the cattle rustler the team were ordered to intercept. Accused Eraso embraced Alfredo Balinas and told him that it was not intentionally done and it was merely an accident. Silvestre Balinas died as a result of the gunshot wounds he sustained.

Dr. Rhodora T. Antenor, who conducted the post-mortem examination on the cadaver of Silvestre Balinas testified that the fatal wound that caused the death of the victim was the one inflicted on the mid-inner thigh. The bullet pierced through and injured the organs in the pelvic region where she found three irregularly shaped metallic fragments. She added that the position of the victim at that time of the shooting was higher than the assailant considering that the trajectory of the bullets was upwards.

Upon examination by NBI Ballistician Elmer Nelson D. Piedad, the three metallic fragments recovered from the fatal wound of the victim turned out to be

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fragments of a 5.56 mm jacketed bullet. However, on cross-examination, he declared that he is not sure whether the 2 other metallic fragments recovered from the fatal wound of the victim are indeed parts of a copper jacket of a caliber 5.56 mm. jacketed bullet.

The trial court convicted petitioner and accused Eraso of the crime of homicide which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

Accused Eraso filed a Petition for Review but was denied by CA; on the other hand petitioner, filed this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court and the Court of Appeals erred in finding the petitioner guilty of homicide?

Decision:

The Court sustains the finding of the trial court that petitioner fired his .45 caliber pistol towards the victim. However, it appears that there is no evidence to prove that petitioner had intent to kill the victim. The prosecution witnesses did not see whether petitioner aimed to kill the victim. Intent to kill cannot be

automatically drawn from the mere fact that the use of firearms is dangerous to life. Intent to kill must be established with the same degree of certainty as is

required of the other elements of the crime. The inference of intent to kill should not be drawn in the absence of circumstances sufficient to prove such intent beyond reasonable doubt.

Absent an intent to kill in firing the gun towards the victim, petitioner should be held liable for the crime of illegal discharge of firearm under Article 254 of the Revised Penal Code. The elements of this crime are: (1) that the offender discharges a firearm against or at another person; and (2) that the offender has no intention to kill that person . The Decision of the Court of Appeals in affirming the conviction of petitioner for the crime of homicide is set aside and petitioner is acquitted of the crime charged on the ground of reasonable doubt.

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However, petitioner Geronimo Dado is guilty of the crime of illegal discharge of firearm.

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Heide Olarte-Congson 2007-0316

Art. 257: Unintentional Abortion


People v. Salufrania (G.R. No. L-50884)
Facts:

Filomeno Salufrania by boxing and strangling MARCIANA ABUYOSALUFRANIA, his lawfully wedded wife and who was at the time 8 months on the family way, caused upon her injuries resulting in her instantaneous death and the death of the child who was still in its maternal womb. Thus Filomeno was charged with the complex crime of parricide with intentional abortion committed. The lower court found Filomeno guilty as charged and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. Hence, the automatic review of the case by the Supreme Court. Filomeno alleges that the trial court erred in finding him guilty of the complex crime of parricide with intentional abortion, as there is no evidence to show that he had the intention to cause an abortion.

Issue:

Whether or not the conviction of the accused for the complex crime of parricide with intentional abortion is proper?

Decision:

No. Filomeno Salufrania should not be held guilty of the complex crime of parricide with intentional abortion but of the complex crime of parricide with unintentional abortion.

The elements of Unintentional Abortion are as follows: 1. That there is a pregnant woman. 2. That violence is used upon such pregnant woman without intending an abortion. 3. That the violence is intentionally exerted. 4. That as a result of the violence the fetus dies, either in the womb or after having been expelled therefrom.

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It has been clearly established (a) that Marciana Abuyo was seven (7) to eight (8) months pregnant when she was killed; (b) that violence was voluntarily exerted upon her by her husband Filomeno; and (c) that, as a result of said violence, Marciana Abuyo died together with the fetus in her womb. The abortion was caused by the same violence that caused the death of the wife, Marciana Abuyo, such violence being voluntarily exerted by Filomeno upon her. However, the intent to cause the abortion has not been sufficiently established. Mere boxing on the stomach, taken together with the immediate strangling of the victim in a fight, is not sufficient proof to show intent to cause an abortion. In fact, Filomeno must have merely intended to kill his wife but not necessarily to cause an abortion.

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Heide Olarte-Congson 2007-0316

People v. Genoves (G.R. No. L-42819)


Facts:

Soledad Rivera tried to take back by force from Genoves a yoke of a plow she claims she owned. Genoves however, repeatedly struck Soledad with his fist causing her to fall to the ground several times. During which time, Soledad was heavy with child. Soledad by such fall suffered pains in the abdomen.

According to testimony deceased was in good health the day before. From the time of the incident there was hemorrhage and pain, which were symptoms of premature delivery. Soledad remained in said condition for days until it culminated in the painful and difficult premature delivery of one of the twin babies that she way carrying, but the other baby could not be delivered. Soledad and both babies died. Genoves was then charged and convicted by CFI Occidental Negros of the complex crime of homicide with abortion.

Issue:

Whether or not the conviction of the complex crime of homicide with abortion is proper?

Held:

No, the abortion in this case is unintentional abortion denounced by article 257 of the Revised Penal Code. It is generally known that a fall is liable to cause premature delivery, and the evidence shows a complete sequel of events from the assault to Soledads death. Genoves must be held responsible for the natural consequences of his act.

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Ozelle Dedicatoria 2006-0406

Art 266: Slight Physical Injuries and Maltreatment


Kingston(e) Li v. People and CA (G.R. No. 127962)
Facts:

Petitioner Li was charged before the RTC of Makati with the crime of homicide for the death of Christopher Arugay. The prosecution alleged that Arugay was watching television at home with his sisters Cristy and Baby Jane, his girlfriend dela Camara and Baby Janes boyfriend, Tan. They suddenly heard a noise outside. Peering through the window, they saw Li and a certain Eduardo Sangalang taking a bath completely naked. The two were facing the house of the Arugays. Enraged, the deceased shouted something to Li and Sangalang. Then petitioner Li shouted back. An incensed Arugay went out the house where he was met by petitioner carrying a baseball bat. Li struck Arugay on the head with the bat, causing Arugay to fall. Li ran back to his house. The witnesses Tan and dela Camara assisted Arugay and were trying to drag him back to his house when Li re-emerged, this time with a knife. Li then stabbed Arugay once. Immediately thereafter, they were able to see Sangalang stab Arugay at least once.

Petitioner Li denies killing Arugay. He contends that he hit first with a baseball bat Christopher Arugay hitting the latter not on the head but at the right arm which is near the shoulder. The deceased who is armed with a bolo, retaliated by hacking Li on the head, causing him to lose his hold on the baseball bat and fell semi-unconscious or unconscious. In such a condition, it is highly improbable that he was capable of inflicting the fatal stab wounds on Arugay.

After trial, he was found guilty and sentenced to the penalty of eight (8) years and one (1) day of Prision Mayor to fourteen (14) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day of Reclusion Temporal. His conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Aggrieved, Li filed a petition for review, seeking the reversal of his conviction for the crime of homicide.

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Issue:

Whether or not petitioner should be convicted for the crime of slight physical injury instead of homicide?

Decision:

The Supreme Court ruled in the affirmative. It ruled that the only injury attributable to Li is the contusion on the victims right arm that resulted from Li striking Arugay with a baseball bat. In view of the victims supervening death from injuries which cannot be attributed to Li beyond reasonable doubt, the effects of the contusion caused by Li are not mortal or at least lie entirely in the realm of speculation. When there is no evidence of actual incapacity of the offended party for labor or of the required medical attendance, the offense is only slight physical injuries.

What transpired during the dawn hours of was an artless, spontaneous street fight devoid of any methodical plan for consummation. It arose not because of any long-standing grudge or an appreciable vindication of honor, but because the actors were too quick to offense and impervious to reason. Yet, however senseless this lethal imbroglio is, a judicious examination of the circumstances must be made to avoid leaps into hyperbole. Careful scrutiny of the evidence reveals that the criminal culpability of Li in the death of Arugay was not established beyond reasonable doubt. Unfortunately, the person who is responsible for the death apparently remains at large.

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Maria Faye D. Dela Cruz 2005-0048

Art. 266-A: Rape


People v. Hermocilla (G.R. No. 175830)
Facts:

Hermocilla was charged with two counts of rape. The records show that M was born out of wedlock on May 30, 1989 to S and L. After they separated, M stayed with her mother L who subsequently cohabited with appellant Hermocilla. Sometime in 1999, while M was preparing dinner, appellant suddenly grabbed and pulled her to the bed. He ripped off her shorts and underwear and made her lie on the bed. After undressing himself, appellant inserted his finger into Ms vagina and penetrated her with his penis. M cried and begged appellant to stop. Thereafter, appellant would insert his finger into Ms vagina whenever her mother is out of the house. Such abuse temporarily ceased when M lived with her father S in Baguio City. But when he left t work abroad, M went back to live with her mother and appellant. The abuse resumed and culminated in second rape

incident which took place sometime 2002. On said day, while M was cleaning their house, appellant suddenly grabbed her and pulled her towards the bed. He took off her clothes, undressed himself and inserted his finger into her vagina.

Appellant denied the charges against him, he claimed that he treated M like his own daughter. The trial court rendered judgment finding appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of rape.

Issue: Whether or not the insertion of the appellants fingers into the victims vagina constituted the crime of rape trough sexual assault?

Whether or not relationship could be considered in the proper imposition of penalty?

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Decision:

The second incident committed in 2002 whereby appellant inserted his fingers into Ms vagina likewise constitute rape through sexual assault. In People v. Palma, we held that the insertion of the appellants finger into the victims vagina constituted the crime of rape through sexual assault under Republic Act No. 8252 or the Anti-Rape Law of 1997.

Rape by sexual assault is punishable by reclusion temporal if committed with any aggravating or qualifying circumstances. year old minor. The Information in Family Case No. A-436 mentioned the victim as appellants stepdaughter and an 11A stepdaughter is a daughter of ones spouse by previous marriage, while a stepfather is the husband of ones mother by virtue of a marriage subsequent to that of which the person spoken of is the offspring. In the instant case, appellant and Ms mother were never married. Appellant is the common law spouse of Ms mother. Hence, appellant is not Ms stepfather; vice-versa, M is not appellants stepdaughter. However, since the

relationship was not specifically pleaded in the information, it cannot be considered in the imposition of the proper penalty.

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Maria Faye D. Dela Cruz 2005-0048

People v. Basquez (G.R No. 144035)


Facts: The prosecutions evidence disclose that on November 4, 1998 while herein 6-year-old victim was on her way home from school, appellant waylaid her, dragged her to an unoccupied house, tied her, and then forced himself inside her. After consummating his vile, he left her with her body tied. When she was able to let loose, she went home and told her grandmother of the incident, which led to the arrest of appellant. After trial, appellant was convicted of rape and sentenced to suffer reclusion perpetua and to pay civil indemnity and moral damages in the amount of P50,000 each.

Issue:

Whether or not the absence of penetration still constitute the crime of rape?

Decision: Although there had been no complete penetration of the victims vagina by appellants penis, contact between them was not ruled out by the doctor who testified in this case. In fact, he found the victims vagina positive for

spermatozoa. Existing rulings on rape do not require complete or full penetration of the victims private organ. Neither is the rupture of the hymen necessary. The mere introduction of the penis into the labia majora of the victims genitalia engenders the crime of rape. Hence, it is the touching or entry of the penis into the labia majora or the labia minora of the pudendum of the victims genitalia that consummates rape. Penile invasion necessarily entails contact with the

labia. Even the briefest of contacts, without lacerations of the hymen, is deemed to be rape.

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Maria Faye D. Dela Cruz 2005-0048

People v. Oga (G.R. No. 152302)


Facts:

At around 2:00 a.m. of August 10, 1998, Ignacio and his wife were awakened by the loud banging of corrugated GI sheet coming from the barracks of his co-construction worker which was about 3 meters away. Ignacio and his wife proceeded in haste to investigate but they were surprised and disarrayed to see his co-worker, herein appellant, naked on top of their daughter, Irene, who was also naked.

Irene testified that at around 10:00 p.m. of August 9, 1999, the appellant summoned her to his barracks. Thinking he had the usual errand for her she approached him. However, appellant suddenly pulled her and laid her on a

wooden bed (papag). The appellant then took off her pants and panty, as well as his clothes. He inserted his penis into her vagina. It was only at around 2:00 a.m. that she was able to finally kick the galvanized iron sheet that enclosed the appellants barracks.

Appellant did not deny that he had several intercourse with Irene but interposed sweetheart story.

Issue:

Whether or not force and intimidation are attendant in this case?

Decision:

Neither was intimidation employed against her. Even if she was pulled down to the bed, she was not threatened with bodily or physical harm by a knife, bolo or any object or instrument that the appellant could have employed so as to create a real apprehension of dangerous consequences or serious bodily harm. Irenes overall deportment during her ordeal defies comprehension and the reasonable standard of human conduct when faced with a similar situation. It is unnatural for an intended rape victim, as in the case at bar, not to make even a

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feeble attempt to free herself despite a myriad of opportunities to do so. This constrained us to entertain a reasonable doubt on the guilt of the appellant.

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Maricris Ella 2007-0030

Title 9: Crimes Against Personal Liberty and Security


Art. 267: Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention
People v. Ejandra (G.R. No. 134203)
Facts:

Ed Henderson Tan, the nine-year old son of the spouses Eddie and Marileen Tan, was a Grade III student at the Philippine Institute of Quezon City, located at Kitanlad, Quezon City. At about 4:00 p.m. on July 2, 1997, Ed

Henderson was dismissed from his classes and proceeded to the nearby house of his tutor in Chinese language, Huang Lao Shih. Ed Henderson and his father, Eddie Tan, had earlier agreed that after the tutorial classes ended at 7:00 p.m., Ed Henderson would phone his father, who would then fetch him from his mentors house. The tutorial classes ended at 7:00 p.m., as scheduled, and Ed Henderson then proceeded to the store near the gate of the school to have his periodic test papers photocopied. He left the store and was on his way back to the house of his tutor to wait for his father.

Suddenly, Ed Tampos, armed with a revolver, chased and overtook Ed Henderson at the Royalty canteen near the school. Tampos ordered the boy to proceed to a motorcyle parked nearby and warned the latter that if he refused, he would be shot. Petrified, Ed Henderson approached the motorcycle where

appellants Elvie Ejandra and Roel Revilla were waiting. Ejandra had no legs (pilay), while Revilla had curly hair. There was no lamp post outside the school premises but the lights inside the school were still on. Ejandra covered Ed Hendersons mouth with his hand, pointed his gun at the boy and warned the latter not to shout. Revilla boarded the motorcycle and took the drivers seat. Ejandra sat behind him, and Tampos sat behind Ejandra. Tampos ordered Ed Henderson to board the motorcyle, or else, he would be shot. The boy was then ordered to sit behind Tampos.

Ed was brought to a one-storey house with cemented flooring and whitecolored walls. Once inside, he saw a man who was drinking, who turned out to be Antonio Huera, and a female, who turned out to be Magdalena Calunod. Ed Henderson also saw a cell phone. The was ordered to write down his fathers
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telephone number, as well as that of their house and their store. Ed Henderson did as he was told, and wrote down the telephone number of his father, Eddie Tan.

At 12:30 a.m., Eddie received a call through his home phone, informing him that his son had been kidnapped. The caller demanded P10,000,000.00 for the safe release of his son which was reduce to P5,000,000.00. Thereafter, Eddie received several calls threatening him that if he refused to pay the ransom they demanded, the kidnappers would cut Ed Hendersons ear and finger, and thereafter kill the boy and dump his body in an isolated place. Eddie pleaded for mercy but the caller would simply hang up the telephone.

At 10:00 a.m. the next day, July 4, 1997, another call from the kidnappers came through, and Eddie reiterated that he could no longer raise any additional amount. The caller hung up, but called again and informed Eddie that the kidnappers had agreed to accept a ransom of P548,000.00. At about noon, the caller contacted Eddie and instructed him to place the money in a newspaper and to bring the money to the parking lot in front of the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City within ten minutes. The caller further instructed Eddie to open the doors and windows of his car upon arriving at the designated spot. Eddie was also told that a man would approach him and call him "Eddie."

Eddie did as he was told. Suddenly, a man approached him and called him Eddie, so he immdiately he handed over the plastic bag which contained the money. He asked her how his son was, she told him not to worry because she would bring the boy home. Shortly after his arrival at their house, Eddie received two telephone calls from a male and a female, respectively, who informed him of his sons impending release.

Between 3:20 to 3:30 p.m. of July 4, 1997, Ed Henderson was told that he would be brought back home. The boy then called up his mother and told her that he would be back soon. Tampos and Calunod boarded Ed Henderson in a taxi. Calunod ordered the boy to pretend that she was his aunt. The taxi

stopped near the Imperial Drugstore at E. Rodriguez Avenue, where Calunod instructed Ed Henderson to get down. She gave the boy P50.00 for his fare back home. The boy took a taxi and was soon reunited with his waiting family.

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Issue:

Whether or not the accused could be held liable for the crime of kidnapping?

Decision:

Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Republic Act No. 7659 reads: Any private individual who shall kidnap or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death; (1) If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than three days; (2) If it shall have committed simulating public authority; (3) If any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained, or if threats to kill him shall have been made; or (4) If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, except when the accused is any of the parents, female or a public officer. The penalty shall be death where the

kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person, even if none of the circumstances abovementioned were present in the commission of the offense. When the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention or is raped, or is subjected to torture dehumanizing acts, the maximum penalty shall be imposed.

For the accused to be convicted of kidnapping or serious illegal detention, the prosecution is burdened to prove beyond reasonable doubt all the elements of the crime, namely, (1) the offender is a private individual; (2) he kidnaps or detains another, or in any manner deprives the latter of h is liberty; (3) the act of detention or kidnapping must be illegal; and (4) in the commission of the offense any of the following circumstances is present: (a) the kidnapping or detention lasts for more than three days; (b) it is committed by simulating public authority; (c) any serious physical injuries are inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained or threats to kill him are made; or (d) the person kidnapped and serious illegal detention is a minor, the duration of his detention is immaterial. Likewise, if the victim is kidnapped and illegally detained for the purpose of extorting ransom, the duration of his detention is immaterial.

To warrant an imposition of the death penalty for the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention for ransom, the prosecution must prove the following beyond reasonable doubt: (a) intent on the part of the accused to deprive the
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victim of his liberty; (b) actual deprivation of the victim of his liberty; and, (c) motive of the accused, which is ransom for the victim or other person for the release of the victim. The purpose of the offender in extorting ransom is a

qualifying circumstance which may be proven by his words and overt acts before, during and after the kidnapping and detention of the victim. Neither actual

demand for nor actual payment of ransom is necessary for the crime to be committed. Ransom as employed in the law is so used in its common or ordinary sense; meaning, a sum of money or other thing of value, price, or consideration paid or demanded for redemption of a kidnapped or detained person, a payment that releases from captivity. It may include benefits not necessarily pecuniary which may accrue to the kidnapper as a condition for the victims release.

In this case, the appellants not only demanded but also received ransom for the release of the victim.

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Maricris Ella 2007-0030

People v. Silongan y Linandang (G.R. No. 137182)


Facts:

On March 16, 1996, businessman Alexander Saldaa went to Barangay Laguilayan, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat with Americo Rejuso, Jr., Ervin Tormis, and Victor Cinco to meet with a certain Macapagal Silongan alias Commander Lambada to talk to Macapagal concerning the gold nuggets that were purportedly being sold by the latter. During the meeting Macapagal told them that someone in his family has just died and that he has to pick up an elder brother in Cotabato City, hence, they had better transact business in the afternoon.

In the afternoon, Alexander's group and Macapagal, with a certain Teddy Silongan and another person named Oteng Silongan, traveled to Cotabato City to fetch Macapagal's brother. At 8:30 p.m., they neared the highway. Macapagal ordered the driver to stop. Suddenly, 15 armed men appeared. Alexander and his three companions were ordered to go out of the vehicle, tied up, and blindfolded. Macapagal and Teddy were also tied up and blindfolded, but nothing more was done to them. The four victims were taken to a mountain hideout in

Maganoy, Maguindanao, where a certain Salik Karem, Hadji Kutang Omar alias Commander Palito, and Jumbrah Manap met them. Initially, the three demanded P15,000,000 from Alexander Saldaa for his release which was subsequently reduced to P12,000,000.00. They made Alexander write a letter to his wife to pay the ransom. The letter was hand-carried by a certain Armand Jafar, alias Dante, and two of the victims, Ervin Tormis and Victor Cinco, who both later managed to escape. No ransom was obtained so Commander Palito and Jumbrah Manap sent other persons and one of the victims, Americo Rejuso, Jr., to renegotiate with Alexander's wife. No agreement was likewise reached.

Seven days later, Alexander Saldaa and Americo Rejuso, Jr., were transferred to the town proper of Maganoy. Commander Palito, Jumbrah Manap, Sacaria Alon alias Jack Moro, Ramon Pasawilan, guarded them. When the kidnappers learned that the military was looking for Alexander, they returned to the mountain hideout and stayed there for two weeks.

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On September 24, 1996, Mayangkang released Alexander Saldaa to the military in exchange for a relative who was caught delivering a ransom note to Alexander's family.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused the guilt of the appellants has been proven by credible evidence beyond reasonable doubt?

Decision:

The essence of the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention as defined and penalized in Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code is the actual deprivation of the victim's liberty coupled with proof beyond reasonable doubt of an intent of the accused to effect the same. It is thus essential that the following be established by the prosecution: (1) the offender is a private individual; (2) he kidnaps or detains another, or in any other manner deprives the latter of his liberty; (3) the act of detention or kidnapping must be illegal; and (4) in the commission of the offense, any of the four circumstances enumerated in Article 267 be present. But if the kidnapping was done for the purpose of extorting ransom, the fourth element is no longer necessary.

There is no mistaking the clear, overwhelming evidence that the appellants abducted Alexander Saldaa and his companions at gunpoint and deprived them of their freedom. That the appellants took shifts guarding the victims until only Alexander was left to be guarded and in transferring Alexander from one hideout to another to prevent him from being rescued by the military establish that they acted in concert in executing their common criminal design.

Macapagal's participation is clearly evident from the records. Aside from being one of Alexander's armed guards in Kabuntalan, and having been part of a party which brought Alexander from the river hideout of Commander Kugta to Mayangkang Saguile's lair in Talayan, indirect evidence also support Macapagal's participation in the criminal design. First, Macapagal made several postponements of their trip on March 16, 1996 until it was already 7:30 in the evening. His reason that someone in his family died is not corroborated at all. Teddy, his cousin, never mentioned it, and his other relative, co-accused Abdila Silongan, was reticent about it. In fact, nobody told the trial court the name of the
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deceased relative. Secondly, Americo testified that when they stopped over at Macapagal's house, he heard the wife of Macapagal utter the words "kawawa naman sila" as they were leaving. Thirdly, it was established that Macapagal ordered the driver to proceed slowly towards the highway. During this time, he was busy talking on his handheld radio with someone and the victims heard him say "ok." When they were near the highway, he ordered the driver to stop whereupon 15 armed men appeared and blocked their vehicle. Finally, while the 15 men took away Alexander Saldaa and his three companions, nothing was done to Macapagal or to Teddy Silongan. By their own admission, they were just left behind after being hogtied. How they managed to escape was not explained. All these taken together give rise to the reasonable inference that Macapagal had concocted the funeral for a supposed recently deceased relative purposely to afford his co-conspirators time to stage the kidnapping. Then, also, it was through Macapagal's indispensable contribution that the armed men were able to stop the vehicle at a precise location near the highway.

Likewise, the prosecution has established beyond reasonable doubt that the kidnapping was committed "for the purpose of extorting ransom" from Alexander, as to warrant the mandatory imposition of the death penalty. For the crime to be committed, at least one overt act of demanding ransom must be made. It is not necessary that there be actual payment of ransom because what the law requires is merely the existence of the purpose of demanding ransom. In this case, the records are replete with instances when the kidnappers demanded ransom from the victim. At the mountain hideout in Maganoy where Alexander was first taken, he was made to write a letter to his wife asking her to pay the ransom of twelve million pesos. Among those who demanded ransom were the appellants Ramon Pasawilan, Sacaria Alon, and Jumbrah Manap. Then, when Alexander was in the custody of Mayangkang Saguile, not only was he made to write more letters to his family, Mayangkang himself wrote ransom notes. In those letters, Mayangkang even threatened to kill Alexander if the ransom was not paid.

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Maricris Ella 2007-0030

People v. Castro (G.R. No. 132726)


Facts: On January 17, 1997, at about six oclock in the afternoon, Alfonso Saez came home. He was informed by his siblings that Jesse Castro called up to say that he (Castro) wanted to speak with Saez. Subsequently, Saez repaired to Castro's residence. Just as Castro opened the gate for Saez, Castro pointed and fired his 9 mm. handgun at Saez, its bullet whizzing by his right ear. Saez was thrown against the concrete wall of the house. He was then taken inside the house. Two men, identified to be Edgardo Reyes and Jesus de los Angeles, joined Castro in mauling Saez. Castro hit Saez with an iron club.

At around nine o'clock in the evening, Castro handed over to him a phone and ordered him to tell his family to raise P20,000.00 and intstruct them to bring the money to a place near Bautista Hospital. About half an hour later, another call was placed to follow-up the demand. Turning to de los Angeles and Reyes, Castro instructed the two to go to the "drop-off point." Nobody showed up. After an hour, Saez was ordered to call again, this time to designate another place where the money was to be delivered. Castro told Saez to have his relatives bring the money to the vicinity of the Aglipay Church in Caridad. Again, no meeting materialized.

Around midnight, Castro, de los Angeles and Reyes left the house and stayed by the gate conversing with one another. The victim took the opportunity to flee. He was able to untie his legs and tackle the stairs towards the second storey. He jumped out through the window but the noise he created caught the attention of Castro. The latter fired his gun, hitting the fleeing victim and planting a bullet in his buttocks. His plea for help alarmed some barangay officials who immediately came to his rescue and brought him to the nearest hospital.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused can be held liable for the crime of kidnapping even if detention was made to merely compel Saez to pay his debt?

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Decision: Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code provides: Any private individual who shall kidnap or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death; (1) If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than three days; (2) If it shall have been committed simulating public authority; (3) If any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained; or if threats to kill him shall have been made; or (4) If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, except when the accused is any of the parents, female or a public officer. The penalty shall be death where the kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person, even if none of the circumstances abovementioned were present in the commission of the offense. When the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention or is raped, or is subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts, the maximum penalty shall be imposed."

The corpus delicti in the crime of kidnapping for ransom is the fact that an individual has been in any manner deprived of his liberty for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person. Whether or not the ransom is actually paid to or received by the perpetrators is of no moment.

In People vs. Salimbago, the Court stressed: "x x x No specific form of ransom is required to consummate the felony of kidnapping for ransom so long as it was intended as a bargaining chip in exchange for the victim's freedom. In municipal criminal law, ransom refers to the money, price or consideration paid or demanded for redemption of a captured person or persons, a payment that releases from captivity. Neither actual demand for nor actual payment of ransom is necessary for the crime to be committed."

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Maria Criselda Fojas 2010-0226

Art. 268: Slight Illegal Detention


People v. Dadles (G.R. Nos. 118620-21)
Facts:

The accused Dadles was charged with kidnapping two farmers, Tehidor and Alipan, along with their sons, in Barangay Amontay, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental. The accused denied the charges stating that on the night of the alleged kidnapping, he had fallen asleep at the home of one of the defense witness after a night of drinking. The RTC rendered a decision conviction the accused of 2 counts of kidnapping and serious detention.

Issue:

Whether or not the RTC erred on convicting Dadles of 2 counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention?

Decision:

The accused argued that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses fail to make out a case for kidnapping, referring to particular witness testimony that he believed showed that the victims were not deprived of their liberty because they went with the Dadles and his companions peacefully without being subjected to threats and coercion. The SC disagreed, stating that the victims hands were not tied nor guns poked at their sides when they were taken by the appellants group do not conclusively preclude the deprivation of their liberty. The circumstances surrounding the taking of Salvador and Antonio, particularly the appellant and his companions previous conduct in kidnapping victims Alipio and Dionisio, plainly demonstrate their intent to likewise deprive Salvador and Antonio of their liberty. The Court likewise added that the general rule is that evidence is not admissible which shows or tends to show, that the accused in a criminal case has committed a crime wholly independent of the offense for which he is on trial. It is not competent to prove that he committed other crimes of a like nature for the purpose of showing that he would be likely to commit the crime charged in the indictment. Where a person is charged with the commission of a

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specific crime, testimony may be received of other similar acts, committed at about the same time, for the purpose only of establishing the criminal intent of the accused. The Court found that both incidents of kidnapping were related in that proof of one kidnapping tends to prove the other, thereby establishing the accuseds intent to deprive the victims of their liberty.

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Maria Criselda Fojas 2010-0226

People v. Llaguno (G.R. No. 91262)


Facts:

Accused Llaguno, along with several others, were charged with Kidnapping with Murder when they allegedly kidnapped and detained Bienvenido Mercado, and while under detention, shot and killed said victim. Although charged with kidnapping with murder, the accused was only convicted for murder and not for serious illegal detention.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused was guilty of Kidnapping with murder?

Decision:

The Court found the accused guilty only for serious illegal detention and not for murder. It held that the Trial Court erred in convicting the accused for murder when the circumstances do not clearly and sufficiently prove beyond a reasonable doubt that accused was guilty of murder. Parenthetically, when the prosecutions case is anchored only on circumstantial evidence, all the circumstances must be consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty of the crime sought to be proven, and no other. In addition, the circumstances under consideration must not support any rational hypothesis consistent with the innocence of the accused. Consequently, appellant may not be held criminally liable for killing the victim. The TC also erred in finding the accused not guilty of serious illegal detention as the period of detention was less that 5 days. The evidence presented by the prosecution, which was sustained by the trial court, clearly established that appellant had in fact detained the victim without authority to do so. At this juncture, we deem it significant to reiterate that the trial court merely made a finding that appellant could not be convicted of serious illegal detention for the sole reason that the victims detention did not exceed five days. The court a quo, however, found that appellant illegally detained the victim for at least one day, which act by itself constitutes slight illegal detention. Besides, the trial court appreciated the act constituting slight illegal detention as a qualifying circumstance, i.e., employing means to weaken the defense. While we find no
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proof beyond reasonable doubt to sustain a conviction for murder, the records indisputably prove culpability for slight illegal detention.

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Maria Criselda Fojas 2010-0226

People v. Roluna (G.R. No. 101797)


Facts:

Eight person, including accused Roluna were charged with kidnapping with murder. Witnesses claimed that they saw victim Anatalio Moronia stopped by accussed and several others. The victim was alleged to have been threatened with firearms andhand bound behin his back. The accused claimed that he was taking care of an ill relative at the time of the kidnapping. The RTC found Roluna guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the complex crime of Kidnapping with murder. The accused raised that the body of the victim has not surfaced and that the unexplained disappearance cannot be blamed on him as there is all possibility that the victim may still be alive.

Issue:

Was the death of the victim sufficiently proved and may the accused be held liable or it?

Decision:

The Rules of Court provides that the death shall be presumed if a person who has been in danger of death under other circumstances and his existence has not been known for four years. However, the SC decided that there were insufficient circumstances to hold the accused responsible for the death of the victim. The testimony of the witnesses stating that the victims hands were bound by a companion of the accused is not enough to prove that the accused killed him. The conviction of accused-appellant for the serious crime of kidnapping with murder cannot be allowed to rest on the vague and nebulous facts established by the prosecution. As discussed earlier, the evidence presented by the prosecution surrounding the events of that fateful day are grossly insufficient to establish the alleged liability of accused-appellant for the death of Moronia. The SC thus decided that Since none of the circumstances mentioned in Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code (kidnapping with serious illegal detention) was proved and only the fact of kidnapping of Anatalio Moronia was established, we

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find that the crime committed is slight illegal detention under Article 268 of the Revised Penal Code.

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Maria Garalde 2008-0326

Art. 270: Kidnapping and Failure to Return a Minor


People v. Rubi-Rosa Pastrana (G.R. No. 143644)
Facts:

Erma Postejo, a domestic helper in Canada, is the mother of Jenny, Doroteo, Aresola and 9-year old Willy Garpen, Jr. her son by a common-law relationship. She was introduced to accused-appellant Rubi-Rose who offered to work on the processing of Willys travel documents to Canada. Rubi-Rose asked for P 18,300.00 as processing fee. Later on, accused-appellant informed Erma that Willy was suffering from bronchitis. Erma sent P 5,610.00, P 3,000.00 to be given to Doroteo and the remaining balance should pay for Willys medical treatment. Then on March 16, 1997, accused-appellant fetched Willy and

Aresola from their home in Caloocan and brought them in Tondo. Aresola went home and Willy was left in Tondo. Accused-appellant was asking Erma for sums of money which Erma refused to transmit.

March 27, 1997, accused-appellant informed Doroteo that Willy was missing and that he was last seen playing inside her apartment. Erma returned to the Philippines to look for her son. Erma found out that Willy was never treated for any illness. Accused-appellant vehemently denied the charges

against her but the trial court found her guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of kidnapping and failure to return a minor under Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code.

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court erred in convicting the accused the crime of kidnapping and failure to return a minor under Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code?

Decision:

No, the Court ruled that Kidnapping and failure to return a minor under Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code has two essential elements, namely: (1)

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the offender is entrusted with the custody of a minor person; and (2) the offender deliberately fails to restore the said minor to his parents or guardians. What is actually being punished is not the kidnapping of the minor but rather the deliberate failure of the custodian of the minor to restore the latter to his parents or guardians. The word deliberate as used in Article 270 must imply something more than mere negligence - it must be premeditated, headstrong, foolishly daring or intentionally and maliciously wrong.

In the final analysis, the issue posed here is the credibility of witnesses. As consistently ruled by the Court, we will not interfere with the judgment of the trial court in determining the credibility of witnesses unless there appears on record some fact or circumstance of weight and influence which has been overlooked or the significance of which has been misinterpreted. Factual findings of the trial court, especially on the credibility of witnesses, are accorded great weight and respect. This is so because the trial court has the advantage of observing the witnesses through the different indicators of truthfulness or falsehood. In the instant case, there is no reason for us to disregard the trial courts finding that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses are entitled to full faith and credit.

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Maria Garalde 2008-0326

People v. Teresa Bernardo (G.R. No. 144316)


Facts:

On May 13, 1999, around 11:30 in the morning, Rosita Tolibas brought with her in Fabella Memorial Hospital her two daughters, 12-year old Roselle and 15-day old Rosalyn. Rosita went to the hospital for medical check-up and tooth extraction. While the mother, Rosita, was undergoing a medical check-up, her two daughters waited for her in the lobby. Roselle sat on a bench carrying on her lap her 15-day old sister. Accused-appellant sat beside them and befriended Roselle. After a while, accused-appellant asked Roselle to buy ice water and the latter entrusted her sister with the accused. Roselle didnt see any ice water being sold so she returned to the bench. Upon returning, she saw accusedappellant running away with her sister. Roselle ran after the accused and clung on to the leg of the accused.

The commotion caught the attention of the Kagawad of Barangay, Emerento. He saw the accused and Roselle struggling and the latter shouting akina ang kapatid ko, akina ang kapatid ko. Emerento approached them and asked what was happening. Accused told the kagawad that she was running after the mother of the baby but Roselle asked for help and informed the kagawad that her mother was undergoing a medical check-up. Kagawad

Emerento took the baby and handed it to his wife. They looked for the mother of the two children and when they found her, she confirmed that the baby was indeed her daughter. The kagawad requested the hospital security guard to blotter the incident. After trial, the trial court found accused-appellant guilty

beyond reasonable doubt of kidnapping and failure to return a minor under Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code.

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court erred in ruling that the accused-appellant, Teresa Bernardo, is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of kidnapping and failure to return a minor under article 270 of the Revised Penal Code?

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Decision:

No, the Court ruled that a person whose only intention is to look for the childs mother would generally return the child to the person who entrusted the child to her. This did not happen in the present case. The only logical conclusion we can derive from appellants actions is that her intention was really to kidnap the child not to look for the childs mother.

The essential element of the crime of kidnapping and failure to return a minor is that the offender is entrusted with the custody of the minor, but what is actually being punished is not the kidnapping of the minor but rather the deliberate failure of the custodian of the minor to restore the latter to his parents or guardians. It has two essential elements, namely: (1) the offender is entrusted with the custody of a minor person; and (2) the offender deliberately fails to restore the said minor to his parents or guardians (People vs. Bondoc, 232 SCRA 478 [1997]). In People vs. Ty (263 SCRA 745 [1996]), we stated that the essential element of the crime of kidnapping and failure to return a minor is that the offender is entrusted with the custody of the minor, but what is actually being punished is not the kidnapping of the minor but rather the deliberate failure of the custodian of the minor to restore the latter to his parents or guardians. Indeed, the word deliberate as used in Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code must imply something more than mere negligence it must be premeditated, headstrong, foolishly daring or intentionally and maliciously wrong.

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Maria Garalde 2008-0326

People v. Vicente Ty and Carmen Ty (G.R. No. 121519)


Facts:

On November 8, 1987, Johanna Sombong brought her seven-month old daughter, Arabella, to Sir John Medical and Maternity Clinic. The clinic was owned and operated by the accused-appellants. Arabella was diagnosed to be suffering bronchitis and diarrhea and was confined for three days. After which, Sombong was not around to pick up her daughter and she only appeared after a week. Sombong couldnt pay the hospital bills and since no one could take care of her daughter at home, she left her at the nursery of the hospital, which she will be charged P50.00 per day. Arabella was transferred to the clinic extension and she was taken cared of by a yaya hired by her mother. Nothing was heard of the complainant so Dr. Ty notified the barangay captain of the childs abandonment. After two years, Arabella was entrusted to a guardian, Lilibeth Neri. Then after five years, Sombong came back to claim her daughter.

Sombong filed a petition for habeas corpus against accused-appellant with the RTC of Quezon City but was summarily dismissed on the ground of lack of jurisdiction since the alleged detention was perpetrated in Kalookan City. Then, a criminal case was filed against accused-appellants and an administrative case was filed against Dr. Carmen Ty before the Board of Medicine of PRC. The case was subsequently dismissed for failure to prosecute. Then on October 13, 1992, Sombong file a petition for habeas corpus against the alleged guardians of her daughter and the petition was granted and ordered the immediate delivery of Cristina Grace Neri having found that she was the daughter of Sombong. On appeal to the Court of Appeals, said decision was reversed on the ground that Cristina and complainants daughter are not one and the same person.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused appellants are guilty of kidnapping and failure to return a minor?

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Decision:

No, the Court ruled that before a conviction for kidnapping and failure to return a minor under Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code can be had, two elements must concur, namely: (a) the offender has been entrusted with the custody of the minor, and (b) the offender deliberately fails to restore said minor to his parents or guardians. The essential element herein is that the offender is entrusted with the custody of the minor but what is actually punishable is not the kidnapping of the minor, as the title of the article seems to indicate, but rather the deliberate failure or refusal of the custodian of the minor to restore the latter to his parents or guardians. Said failure or refusal, however, must not only be deliberate but must also be persistent as to oblige the parents or the guardians of the child to seek the aid of the courts in order to obtain custody.

Essentially, the word deliberate as used in the article must imply something more than mere negligence; it must be premeditated, obstinate, headstrong, foolishly daring or intentionally and maliciously wrong. In the case at bar, it is evident that there was no deliberate refusal or failure on the part of the accused-appellants to restore the custody of the complainant's child to her.

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Lourizza Genabe 2008-0154

Art. 287: Light Coercions


Baleros v. People (G.R. No. 138099)
Facts:

Martina Lourdes Albano (Malou) a medical student of University of Sto. Tomas, was a tenant of Room 307, with Marvilou Bebania, at the Celestial Marie Building, Sampaloc, Manila. On December 13, 1991, she was attacked by someone while she was sleeping. A piece of cloth that smelled of a chemical was pressed on her face, thus awakening her from her sleep. The person pinned her down preventing her escape. She was finally able to fight off her attacker and reported the incident to the security guard. She was not able to identify her attacker but she felt the attackers clothes describing it to be made of cotton and the lower garment to be smooth and satin-like.

The security guard testified that on the same day, at around 1:30 am, Renato Baleros, Jr. (Chito) arrived at the building wearing a white shirt with Greek letters and the words and a black Adidas shorts. He went to room 306 where Joseph Africa was. Africa was awakened by another knocking at around 3pm by Bernard Baptista, occupant of room 310, and was told of the incident that happened that morning. At around 6-6.30am, Chito was told that they cannot leave the building due to the incident.

Other occupants of room 310, Christian Alcala and Rommel Montes were asked by the CIS to inspect their room (310) for any object not belonging to them. Montes found a grey bag not belonging to them and surrendered it to the authorities. Upon seeing the bag, they knew that the bag belonged to Chito.

When the bag was opened by the authorities, they found a white shirt with Greek letters, black Adidas shorts, a handkerchief, 3 white shirts, socks and underwear. Alcala identified the items belonged to Chito. The items were examined and it was found that the handkerchief contained chloroform, the same chemical found in the salmon pink night dress owned by Malou.

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Trial Court convicted Chito of attempted rape. Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the trial court's decision. The case was elevated to the Supreme Court. Issue:

Whether or not the act of pressing chemical-soaked cloth while on top of the victim constitutes the crime of attempted rape?

Decision:

The Supreme Court held the acquittal of Chito from the crime of attempted rape. There was no overt act of rape in this case. Overt act is some physical activity or deed indicating the intention to commit a particular crime. It is more than a mere planning or preparation. Considering the facts of the case, it cannot be construed that the act of pressing chemical-soaked cloth on the face of Malou constitutes an overt act of rape when there was no commencement of any act indicating the intent to rape the victim.

The acts committed by Chito are not indicative of rape but rather of unjust vexation under Article 287, second paragraph. Unjust vexation exists when an act causes annoyance, irritation, torment, distress or disturbance to the mind of the offended. Unjust vexation includes any conduct which would unjustly annoy or irritate a person.

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Lourizza Genabe 2008-0154

Ong Chiu Kwan vs. CA (G.R. No. 113006)


Facts:

Crazy Feet is a business establishment owned by Mildred Ong. On April 24, 1990, Wilfredo Infante was ordered by Ong Chiu Kwan to relocate Crazy Feet's telephone, electric and water lines without a permit from appropriate authorities. Mildred Ong filed a case against Ong Chiu Kwan for unjust vexation and the Trial Court found Ong Chiu Kwan guilty of unjust vexation under Article 287, second paragraph. The Court declared Ong Chiu Kwan guilty of unjust vexation hence this petition. Issue:

Whether or not Ong Chiu Kwan is liable for unjust vexation?

Decision:

The court ruled that petitioner is liable for unjust vexation. Having admitted that he ordered the cutting of electric, water and telephone lines without the permit to relocate such, he caused the annoyance and vexation of Mildred Ong. To add, the electric, water and telephone interruption happened during the operation of the business.

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Kristine Gonzales 2008-0192

Title 10: Crimes Aganst Property


Art. 293: Robbery
People v. Romeo Apolinario and Antonio Rivera (G.R. No. 97426)
Facts:

Romeo Apolinario and Antonio Rivera by means of force entered the house of husband and wife Simon and Restituta Hibaler through their window. Armed with bolos, they were able to carry away property amounting to Php18,250 through use of violence and intimidation.

According to the wife's testimony, they were awakened during the breaking. Simon was able to get his flashlight and point its light at the intruders, allowing them to identify the three and causing him to exclaim "It's you guys!" in the vernacular. The husband was attacked first while the wife pleaded for his life, one of the intruders then struck her on the face which caused her to lose consciousness. When she regained consciousness she found the intruders taking clothes and ransacking a trunk, after which they went downstairs and had coffee. After they left, Restituta called out for help. When their son Pedro and a neighbor arrived, they found Simon bleeding, and when asked what happened the victim named Romeo, Antonio and Mario as the culprits who attacked him. Simon died before they could take him to the hospital.

Pedro testified that when he first reported the crime he withheld the identity of the three assailants because an Anacleto Habana whose stepson was married to the daughter of one of the assailants, Romeo Apolinario, was present at the police station. He was afraid that if he had named the three at the presence of Patrolman Habana, they would be warned and could flee.

The Regional TrialCourt of Capiz City found the appellants guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of Robbery with Homicide.

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Issue:

Whether or not the essential elements of the crime of robbery with homicide were proven by the prosecution? Decision: Yes, the essential elements of the crime of robbery with homicide was proven by the prosecution. Add to that that the homicide was committed by reason or on the occasion of the robbery, appellants are guilty of the special complex crime of robbery with homicide under Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code. The element of taking or asportation was completed when the apellants took the personal property of spouses Hibaler. The wife Restituta testified that after the incident, she made an inventory and found out that some of their personal belongings were missing. It is of no moment that the property taken was not disposed of in so far as the characterization of the crime as robbery is concerned.

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Kristine Gonzales 2008-0192

People v. Calixto Zinampan, Artemio Apostol, Roger Allan (at large), and Elvis Doca (G.R. No. 126781)
Facts: Elvis Doca, Artemio Apostol, Calixto Zinampan and Roger Allan entered the sari-sari store of Henry and Gaspara Narag of Linao, Tuguegarao, Cagayan and forced their way into the house adjacent to the store. The housekeeper, Marlyn Calaycay was pulled back to the store by Elvis Doca as Henry was taken to the sala. Henry was repeatedly ordered to produce his gun and money and when he refused Artemio hit him in the head with his gun. Henry gave them money but insisted that he did not have a gun for which Calixto hit him with the butt of a gun at the back of his head while Gaspara pleaded for their lives. The intruders then carried away property and money that they had obtained from the couple. Henry died five days later due to the injuries suffered from the robbery. Gaspara Narag passed away while the criminal case was pending with the trial court leaving Marlyn as the lone witness left. The trial court found Elvis Doca guilty of robbery with homicide and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua. Issue: Whether or not the guilt of the accused for the crime of robbery with homicide was proven by the testimony of the single witness? Decision: Yes, the guilt of the accused was sufficiently proven by the sole prosecution witness for the crime of robbery. The accused was positively identified by the prosecution witness who has no motive whatsoever against him that would cause her to fabricate evidence. It is clear from the facts of the case that there exist a conspiracy between the appellant and his co-accused as can be inferred from their acts. The court found the testimony of the sole prosecution eyewitness as honest and credible and further holds that a credible and positive testimony of a
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single eyewitness is sufficient. A conviction for the truth is determined by the quality of the testimony and not by the number of witnesses.

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Kristine Gonzales 2008-0192

People v. Donato Del Rosario (G.R. No. 13106)


Facts: Emelita Paraguas house was set on fire, some of her jewelries were missing and niece Raquel Lopez was found dead at the kitchen. The police received information that Donato Del Rosario was seen outside the house of Paragua before the incident happened and disappeared since then.

A few days later, Del Rosario surrendered himself to a police officer and volunteered that he will accompany them in recovering the stolen jewelries from where he sold them. After the jewelries were recovered, with the assistance of his lawyer, the suspect signed a waiver and confession for killing Raquel Lopez, robbery and setting the house of Paragua on fire.

Del Rosario was charged for Robbery with Homicide before the Regional Trial Court of Olongapo City. During the arraignment, the accused pleaded not guilty for the crime charged. The trial court found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt hence, an appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not the essential requisites of the crime of Robbery with Homicide are present?

Decision:

Yes, the essential requisites of the crime of robbery with homicide are present.

Case law has it that when a stolen property is found in the possession of a person who is not the owner thereof, will be presumed the thief if he can not satisfactorily explain his possession. The accused knew exactly where he can recover the stolen jewelries and was positively identified by witnesses.

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Intent to gain is assumed in an information where it is alleged that there was unlawful taking and appropriation by the offender of the properties stolen. The jewelries recovered were pawned and sold by the accused and was positively identified by the owner of the establishments.

Homicide may occur before or after robbery, what is important is there is an intimate connection between the killing and the robbery.

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Divina Gracia Maramba 2007-0321

Art. 308: Theft


Laurel v. Abrogar (G.R. No. 155076)
Facts:

PLDT sued petitioner for violation of Art. 308 of the RPC, or theft, for allegedly using, without its previous knowledge and consent, the international long distance calls belonging to PLDT by conducting International Simple Resale (ISR), which is a method of routing and completing international long distance calls using lines, cables, antenae, and/or air wave frequency which connect directly to the local or domestic exchange facilities of the country where the call is destined, effectively stealing this business from PLDT while using its facilities in the estimated amount of P20,370,651.92 to the damage and prejudice of PLDT, in the said amount. Petitioners special civil action for certiorari was dismissed by the Court of Appeals. Thus, petitioner filed the instant petition for review with this Court. In his petition for review petitioner argued that the Revised Penal Code should be interpreted in the context of the Civil Codes definition of real and personal property. The enumeration of real properties in Article 415 of the Civil Code is exclusive such that all those not included therein are personal properties. Since Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code used the words "personal property" without qualification, it follows that all "personal properties" as understood in the context of the Civil Code, may be the subject of theft under Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code. PLDT alleges that the international calls and business of providing telecommunication or telephone service are personal properties capable of appropriation and can be objects of theft.

In his Comment, petitioner Laurel claims that a telephone call is a conversation on the phone or a communication carried out using the telephone. It is not synonymous to electric current or impulses. Hence, it may not be considered as personal property susceptible of appropriation. He also insists that "business" is not personal property. It is not the "business" that is protected but the "right to carry on a business." This right is what is considered as property.

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Since the services of PLDT cannot be considered as "property," the same may not be subject of theft.

Issue:

Whether or not the international calls as well as the business of providing telecommunication or telephone service are personal properties capable of appropriation and can be objects of theft.

Held: The court granted PLDTs petition but remanded the case to the trial court with direction to the Public Prosecutor of Makati City to amend the Amended Information to show that the property subject of the theft were services and business of the private offended party because the international calls, although considered as personal properties, are not owned by PLDT hence petitioner cannot be liable for theft on that matter; but the business of providing telecommunication is a personal property which is capable of being appropriated hence subject to theft.

This Court adhering the decisions in United States v. Genato, United States v. Carlos, and United States v. Tambunting, consistently ruled that any personal property, tangible or intangible, corporeal or incorporeal, capable of appropriation can be the object of theft.

Moreover, since the passage of the Revised Penal Code on December 8, 1930, the term "personal property" has had a generally accepted definition in civil law. In Article 335 of the Civil Code of Spain, "personal property" is defined as "anything susceptible of appropriation and not included in the foregoing chapter (not real property)." Thus, the term "personal property" in the Revised Penal Code should be interpreted in the context of the Civil Code provisions in accordance with the rule on statutory construction that where words have been long used in a technical sense and have been judicially construed to have a certain meaning, and have been adopted by the legislature as having a certain meaning prior to a particular statute, in which they are used, the words used in such statute should be construed according to the sense in which they have been previously used. In fact, this Court used the Civil Code definition of

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"personal property" in interpreting the theft provision of the penal code in United States v. Carlos.

The only requirement for a personal property to be the object of theft under the penal code is that it be capable of appropriation. It need not be capable of "asportation," which is defined as "carrying away." Jurisprudence is settled that to "take" under the theft provision of the penal code does not require asportation or carrying away.

To appropriate means to deprive the lawful owner of the thing. The word "take" in the Revised Penal Code includes any act intended to transfer possession which, as held in the assailed Decision, may be committed through the use of the offenders own hands, as well as any mechanical device, such as an access device or card as in the instant case. This includes controlling the destination of the property stolen to deprive the owner of the property, such as the use of a meter tampering, as held in Natividad v. Court of Appeals,10 use of a device to fraudulently obtain gas, as held in United States v. Tambunting, and the use of a jumper to divert electricity, as held in the cases of United States v. Genato, United States v. Carlos, and United States v. Menagas.

As illustrated in the above cases, appropriation of forces of nature which are brought under control by science such as electrical energy can be achieved by tampering with any apparatus used for generating or measuring such forces of nature, wrongfully redirecting such forces of nature from such apparatus, or using any device to fraudulently obtain such forces of nature. In the instant case, petitioner was charged with engaging in International Simple Resale (ISR) or the unauthorized routing and completing of international long distance calls using lines, cables, antennae, and/or air wave frequency and connecting these calls directly to the local or domestic exchange facilities of the country where destined.

The right of the ownership of electric current is secured by Articles 517 and 518 of the Penal Code; the application of these articles in cases of subtraction of gas, a fluid used for lighting, and in some respects resembling electricity, is confirmed by the rule laid down in the decisions of the supreme court of Spain of January 20, 1887, and April 1, 1897, construing and enforcing the provisions of articles 530 and 531 of the Penal Code of that country, articles 517 and 518 of the code in force in these islands.

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The acts of "subtraction" include: (a) tampering with any wire, meter, or other apparatus installed or used for generating, containing, conducting, or measuring electricity, telegraph or telephone service; (b) tapping or otherwise wrongfully deflecting or taking any electric current from such wire, meter, or other apparatus; and (c) using or enjoying the benefits of any device by means of which one may fraudulently obtain any current of electricity or any telegraph or telephone service.

In the instant case, the act of conducting ISR operations by illegally connecting various equipment or apparatus to private respondent PLDTs telephone system, through which petitioner is able to resell or re-route international long distance calls using respondent PLDTs facilities constitutes all three acts of subtraction mentioned above.

The business of providing telecommunication or telephone service is likewise personal property which can be the object of theft under Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code. Business may be appropriated under Section 2 of Act No. 3952 (Bulk Sales Law), hence, could be object of theft. Interest in business was not specifically enumerated as personal property in the Civil Code in force at the time the above decision was rendered. Yet, interest in business was declared to be personal property since it is capable of appropriation and not included in the enumeration of real properties. Article 414 of the Civil Code provides that all things which are or may be the object of appropriation are considered either real property or personal property. Business is likewise not enumerated as personal property under the Civil Code. Just like interest in business, however, it may be appropriated.

It was conceded that in making the international phone calls, the human voice is converted into electrical impulses or electric current which are transmitted to the party called. A telephone call, therefore, is electrical energy. It was also held in the assailed Decision that intangible property such as electrical energy is capable of appropriation because it may be taken and carried away. Electricity is personal property under Article 416 (3) of the Civil Code, which enumerates "forces of nature which are brought under control by science."

Indeed, while it may be conceded that "international long distance calls," the matter alleged to be stolen in the instant case, take the form of electrical energy, it cannot be said that such international long distance calls were personal
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properties belonging to PLDT since the latter could not have acquired ownership over such calls. PLDT merely encodes, augments, enhances, decodes and transmits said calls using its complex communications infrastructure and facilities. PLDT not being the owner of said telephone calls, then it could not validly claim that such telephone calls were taken without its consent. It is the use of these communications facilities without the consent of PLDT that constitutes the crime of theft, which is the unlawful taking of the telephone services and business.

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Divina Gracia Maramba 2007-0321

Alfonso D. Gaviola v. People G.R. No. 163297


Facts:

The RTC convicted Alfonso Gaviola guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of qualified theft. On September 6, 1997 at 7:00 AM, Jovencio Mejarito, a nephew of Cleto Mejarito, and a barangay councilman saw Gavino Gaviola, Rodrigo Gaviola and Domingo Caingcoy climbing the coconut trees and deliberately took, harvested and gathered 1500 coconuts thru the supervision of Alfonso and Leticia Gaviola from the plantation of Cleto Mejarito without his authority and consent. The said accused admitted that the coconuts were taken upon his instruction but insisted that the trees were planted from the lot he inherited from his father.

Issue:

Whether or not the said accused is guilty of the crime of qualified theft?

Decision:

Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code states that theft is committed by any person, who with intent to gain but without violence, against or intimidation of neither persons nor force upon things, shall take personal property of another without the latters consent. Theft is likewise committed by: (1.) Any person who, having found lost property, shall fail to deliver the same to the local authorities or to its owner; (2.) Any person who, after having maliciously damaged the property of another, shall remove or make use of the fruits or objects of the damage caused by him; and (3.) Any person who shall enter an enclosed state or a field where trespass is forbidden or which belongs to another and without the consent of its owner, shall hunt or fish upon the same or shall gather fruits, cereals or other forest or farm products. Thus, the elements of theft are: 1). That there be taking of personal property; 2) that said property belongs to another; 3) that the taking be done without the consent of the owner and 5) that the taking be accomplished without the use of violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things. According to Article 310: Qualified theft - The crime of theft shall be punished by the penalties next higher by two degree than those
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respectively specified in the next preceding article, if committed by a domestic servant, or with grave abuse of confidence, or if the property stolen is motor vehicle, mail matter or large cattle or consists of coconuts taken from the premises of a plantation, fish taken from a fishpond or fishery or if property is taken on the occasion of fire, earthquake, typhoon, volcanic eruption, or any other calamity, vehicular accident or civil disturbance. For one to be guilty of theft, the accused must have intent to steal (animu furandi) personal property, meaning the intent to deprive another of his ownership/lawful possession of personal property which intent is apart from but concurrent with the general criminal intent which is an essential element of a felony of dolo. Thus, petitioners claim of good faith in taking the coconuts from private complainants land is a mere pretense to escape criminal liability.

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Divina Gracia Maramba 2007-0321

Santos v. People (G.R. No. 77429)


Facts:

Sometime in November 1980, the complaining witness, Encarnacion Pealosa, entrusted her car, a 1976 Ford Escort, to herein petitioner Lauro Santos for repair of the carburetor. The work was to cost P300.00. A week later, Santos persuaded her to have her car repainted by him for P6,500.00, within a period of two months.

After two months, Pealosa went to the petitioner's repair shop at MacArthur Highway, Malabon, to retrieve her car. Santos refused to deliver the vehicle unless she paid him P634.60 for the repairs. As she did not have the money then, she left the shop to get the needed payment. Upon her return, she could not find Santos although she waited five hours for him. She went back to the shop several times thereafter but to no avail.

Pealosa was to learn later that Santos had abandoned his shop in Malabon. Unable to recover her car, she filed a complaint for carnapping against Santos with the Constabulary Highway Patrol Group in Camp Crame. The case was dismissed when the petitioner convinced the military authorities that the complainant had sold the vehicle to him. He submitted for this purpose a Deed of Sale with Right of Repurchase in his favor.

This notwithstanding, an information for estafa on Pealosa's complaint was filed against Santos in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City on October 26,1982. After trial, the accused was found guilty as charged and sentenced to "an indeterminate penalty of from four (4) months and one (1) day as minimum to four (4) years and two (2) months as maximum, both of prision correccional, to indemnify the offended party in the amount of P38,000.00 which is the value of the car without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and with costs."

Issue: Whether or not the appellant is guilty of qualified theft?

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Decision:

Although the information charged the petitioner with estafa, the crime committed was theft. It is settled that what controls is not the designation of the offense but the description thereof as alleged in the information. And as described therein, the offense imputed to Santos contains all the essential elements of theft, to wit: (1) that there be a taking of personal property; (2) that said property belongs to another; (3) that the taking be done with intent to gain; (4) that the taking be done without the consent of the owner; and (5) that the taking be accomplished without the use of violence or intimidation against persons or force upon things.

Theft should not be confused with estafa. According to Chief Justice Ramon C. Aquino in his book on the Revised Penal Code, "The principal distinction between the two crimes is that in theft the thing is taken while in estafa the accused receives the property and converts it to his own use or benefit. However, there may be theft even if the accused has possession of the property. If he was entrusted only with the material or physical (natural) or de facto possession of the thing, his misappropriation of the same constitutes theft, but if he has the juridical possession of the thing, his conversion of the same constitutes embezzlement or estafa."

The petitioner argues that there was no intent to gain at the time of the taking of the vehicle and so no crime was committed. In U.S. v. De Vera, we held that the subsequent appropriation by the accused of the thing earlier delivered to him supplied the third element that made the crime theft instead of estafa.

Illustrating, the Court declared: ... let us suppose that A, a farmer in the Province of Bulacan, agrees to sell B a certain quantity of rice at a certain price per picul. A ships several sacks of the grain which B receives in his warehouse. If, prior to the measuring required before the payment of the agreed price, B takes a certain quantity of rice from the different sacks, there can be no doubt that he is guilty of the crime of theft. Now, it may be asked: Did not B receive the sacks of rice shipped to him by A?-Yes. And did A voluntarily deliver the sacks of rice which he owned by shipping them to B?-Yes Was the taking of the rice by B from the different sacks done with A's consent?- No.
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This shows, to our mind, that the theory of the defense is untenable, according to which, when the thing is received and then appropriated or converted to one's own use without the consent of the owner, the crime committed is not that of theft.

It was erroneous for the respondent court to hold the petitioner guilty of qualified theft because the fact that the object of the crime was a car was not alleged in the information as a qualifying circumstance. Santos would have had reason to argue that he had not been properly informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, as qualified theft carries a higher penalty.

But although not pleaded and so not considered qualifying, the same circumstance may be considered aggravating, having been proved at the trial. Hence the imposable penalty for the theft, there being no other modifying circumstances, should be in the maximum degree.

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Cheryl Navarro 2007-0026

Art. 310: Qualified Theft


People v. Salonga (G.R. No. 131131)
Facts:

This case was certified to this Court pursuant to Section 13, Rule 124 of the Rules of Court from a decision rendered by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR NO. 18551 which modified the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati, Branch 142 in Criminal Case No. 33127, by increasing the penalty imposed on the accused to reclusion perpetua.

Abelardo Salonga, Flaviano Pangilinan, Amiel Garcia and Ricardo Licup were charged with the crime of Qualified Theft through Falsification of Commercial Document in an information alleging that on or before 23 October 1986, in the Municipality of Makati, Metro Manila, the above-named accused, conspiring and confederating with one another and mutually helping and aiding one another, and as such had access to the preparation of checks in the said Metrobank and Trust Company (Metrobank), with grave abuse of confidence, intent of gain and without the knowledge and consent of the owner thereof, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, steal and carry away the total amount of P36,480.30 by forging the signature of officers authorized to sign the said check and have the said check deposited in the account of Firebrake Sales and Services, the supposed payee when in truth and in fact there is no such transaction between Firebrake and Metrobank, thereby causing the preparation and use of a simulated check described as Check No. 013702 in the amount of P36,480.30 making it appear genuine and authorized, through which they succeeded in its encashment, enabling them to gain for themselves the total sum of P36,480.30, to the damage and prejudice of Metrobank and Trust Company in the total amount of P36,480.30.

On July 19, 1993, the RTC rendered its decision finding Salonga guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Qualified Theft through Falsification of Commercial Document.

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Issues:

Whether or not the accused is guilty of qualified theft?

Whether or not the penalty imposed is proper?

Decsion:

The prosecution established beyond reasonable doubt the participation of accused-appellant in the crime charged.

It was established that accused-appellant was the custodian of the blank Metrobank cashiers check which was processed and encashed.

Arthur Christy Mariano of the spot audit group testified that the amount of accounts payable for October 23, 1986 as reflected in the proof sheet did not tally with the debit tickets of the same date, showing that the check was issued without any transaction.

Mariano also testified that after finding basic differences in the signature of bank manager Antonia Manuel appearing on the subject check with other specimens he conferred with the latter who told him that the signature appearing therein was not hers. Manager Antonia Manuel likewise testified that the signature appearing in the cashiers check varies with the way she signs. Significantly, in a letter dated September 15, 1987 to Atty. Severino S. Tabios of Metrobank, accused-appellant confirmed the statements in his extra-judicial confession and offered to return the amount of P8,500.00.

The crime charged is Qualified Theft through Falsification of Commercial Document. Since the value of the check is P38,480.30, the imposable penalty for the felony of theft is prision mayor in its minimum and medium periods and 1 year of each additional PHP 10,000.00 in accordance with Article 309, paragraph 1 of the RPC. However, under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of qualified theft is punished by the penalties next higher by two degrees than that specified in Article 309 of the Revised Penal Code. Two degrees higher than prision mayor in its minimum and medium periods is reclusion temporal in its medium and maximum periods. In addition, forging the signatures of the bank

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officers authorized to sign the subject cashiers check was resorted to in order to obtain the sum of P36,480.30 for the benefit of the accused.

Falsification of the subject cashiers check was a necessary means to commit the crime of qualified theft resulting in a complex crime. Hence, we apply Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code, which provides that, where an offense is a necessary means for committing the other, the penalty for the more serious crime in its maximum period shall be imposed. Considering that qualified Theft is more serious than falsification of bank notes or certificates which is punished under Article 166 (2) of the Revised Penal Code with prision mayor in its minimum period, the correct penalty is fourteen (14) years and eight (8) months of

reclusion temporal as minimum to twenty (20) years of reclusion temporal as maximum.

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Cheryl Navarro 2007-0026

Roque v. People (G.R. No. 138954)


Facts: This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, assailing the decision of the Court of Appeals in CAG.R. CR No. 20411, entitled People of the Philippines vs. Asuncion Galang Roque, which affirmed in toto the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Guagua, Pampanga, Branch 49, where petitioner was found guilty of the crime of qualified theft.

0It was alleged that on or about 16 November 1989, in the municipality of Floridablanca, Pampanga, accused Asuncion Galang Roque, being employed as teller of the Basa Air Base Savings and Loan Association Inc. (BABSLA) and as such was authorized and reposed with the responsibility to receive and collect capital contributions from its member/contributors of said corporation, and having collected and received in her capacity as teller of the BABSLA the sum of PHP 10,000.00, said accused, with intent of gain, with grave abuse of confidence and without the knowledge and consent of said corporation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, steal and carry away the amount of P10,000.00, by making it appear that a certain depositor by the name of Antonio Salazar withdrew from his Savings Account, when in truth and in fact said Antonio Salazar did not withdraw the said amount to the damage and prejudice of BABSLA.

Issues:

Whether or not qualified theft may be committed when the personal property is in the lawful possession of the accused prior to the commission of the alleged felony?

Whether or not the elements of qualified theft were proven?

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Decision:

When the defendant, with a grave abuse of confidence, removed the money and appropriated it to his own use without the consent of the bank, there was the taking or apoderamiento contemplated in the definition of the crime of theft.

In the case of the United States vs. De Vera (43 Phil., 1000, 1003), Justice Villamor enumerated the essential elements of the crime of theft, which are as follows: The taking of personal property; The property belongs to another; The taking away be done with intent of gain; The taking away be done without the consent of the owner; and The taking away be accomplished without violence or intimidation against persons or force upon things.

In the present case, what is involved is the possession of money in the capacity of a bank teller.

In People v. Locson, this Court considered deposits received by a teller in behalf of a bank as being only in the material possession of the teller. This interpretation applies with equal force to money received by a bank teller at the beginning of a business day for the purpose of servicing withdrawals. Such is only material possession. Juridical possession remains with the bank.

If the teller appropriates the money for personal gain then the felony committed is theft and not estafa. Further, since the teller occupies a position of confidence, and the bank places money in the tellers possession due to the confidence reposed on the teller, the felony of qualified theft would be committed. The elements of qualified theft include the elements of theft and any of the circumstances enumerated in Article 310 of the RPC. The elements of theft, which is defined in Article 308 of the RPC, are the following:

1. Taking of personal property; 2. That said property belongs to another;


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3. That said taking be done with intent to gain; 4. That it be done without the owners consent; and 5. That it be accomplished without the use of violence or intimidation against persons, nor of force upon things.

The specific qualifying circumstance in Article 310 of the RPC which the information indicated was that the felony was committed with grave abuse of confidence. Hence, to warrant a conviction, the prosecution should have also proven the fact that it be done with grave abuse of confidence.

In the case at bar, regarding the first element, the taking of personal property, the prosecution was not able to present direct evidence that petitioner took the PHP 10,000 on November 16, 1989. The prosecution attempted to prove the taking through circumstantial evidence. One of the pieces of evidence that the prosecution adduced was the withdrawal slip for PHP 10,000 dated November 16, 1989.

Antonio Salazar disowned the signature on the withdrawal slip. However, he also indicated that he did not know who made the withdrawal. Rosalina de Lazo testified that the initial on the withdrawal slip, written after the figure 11-17-89, was the customary signature of petitioner. She, however, did not intimate the significance of petitioners initial on the withdrawal slip.

A careful inspection of all the withdrawal slips including the withdrawal slip stated above shows that the date and the initial of petitioner were written across the stamped word paid. This indicates that petitioners initial was placed in her capacity as a teller which, therefore, only proves that this transaction passed through her hands in such capacity. It does not in any manner show that petitioner prepared the withdrawal slip or that the proceeds of the withdrawal increased her patrimony.

The presumption that being in possession of said withdrawal slip before its delivery to Reynaldo Manlulu, the accused is the one who prepared the said withdrawal slip is without basis in law. The presumption under paragraph (j), Section 3 of Rule 131 of the Rules of Court, which reads: That a person found in possession of a thing taken in the doing of a recent wrongful act is the taker and the doer of the whole act; otherwise, that things
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which a person possesses, or exercises acts of ownership over, are owned by him;

Thas always applied to a situation where property has been stolen and the stolen property is found in the possession of the accused. In these cases the possession of the accused gives rise to the presumption that the accused is the taker of the stolen property.

In the case at bar, the withdrawal slip, is not stolen property.

The presumption used by the lower court and the one found in paragraph (j), Section 3 of Rule 131 are different. The lower court presumed that the petitioner was the maker of the withdrawal slip and not that the petitioner stole anything. It is plain that there is no basis for the finding that the withdrawal slip was prepared by the petitioner. Another piece of evidence offered to prove petitioners taking is her extrajudicial confession that she allegedly admitted taking money from the accounts of several members of the BABSLA and the list of people from whose accounts she took money.

However, it cannot be deduced from the alleged verbal confession of petitioner that she was confessing a specific taking of P10,000 from the account of Sgt. Salazar on November 16, 1989. And a perusal of the handwritten list allegedly prepared by petitioner does not disclose any relation to the specific taking alleged in the information. All that was written on the list, among other names and figures, was the name Salazar, Antonio and the number fifteen (15) to the right of the name. The list does not mention the date on which the money was taken. Neither does it disclose the precise amount that was taken. The other pieces of evidence such as the Tellers Daily Report and Abstract of Payment merely reveal that on 16 November 1989, a withdrawal was made on the account of Sgt. Antonio Salazar and that this withdrawal passed through the hands of petitioner in her capacity as a teller of the BABSLA. Again, they prove neither that petitioner prepared the subject withdrawal slip nor that she took the P10,000 on that date.

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It is plain that the prosecution failed to prove by direct or sufficient circumstantial evidence that there was a taking of personal property by petitioner.

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Cheryl Navarro 2007-0026

People v. Bustinera (G. R. No. 148233)


Facts: From the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 217, Quezon City finding appellant Luisito D. Bustinera guilty beyond reasonable doubt of qualified theft for the unlawful taking of a Daewoo Racer GTE Taxi and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, he comes to this Court on appeal.

In an information dated June 17, 1997, appellant was indicted as follows:

The undersigned accuses Luisito D. Bustinera of the crime of Qualified Theft, committed as follows:

That on or about 25 December up to the 9 January 1997 in Quezon City, the said accused being then employed as one of the taxi Drivers of Elias S. Cipriano, an Operator of several taxi cabs in Diliman, Quezon City, and as such has free access to the taxi he drives, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously with intent to gain, with grave abuse of confidence reposed upon him by his employer and without the knowledge and consent of the owner thereof, take, steal and carry away a Daewoo Racer GTE Taxi with Plate No. PWH-266 worth PHP 303,000.00 belonging to Elias S. Cipriano, to the damage and prejudice of the said offended party in the amount of PHP 303,000.00.

ISSUES: Whether or not the accused-appellant had intent to gain when he failed to return the taxi to its garage? Whether or not the accused-appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of qualified theft?

Decision:

Appellant was convicted of qualified theft under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as amended for the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.
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However, Article 310 has been modified, with respect to certain vehicles, by Republic Act No. 6539, as amended, otherwise known as "AN ACT PREVENTING AND PENALIZING CARNAPPING.

The elements of the crime of theft as provided for in Article 308 of the RPC are:

1.that there be taking of personal property; 2.that said property belongs to another; 3.that the taking be done with intent to gain; 4.that the taking be done without the consent of the owner; and, 5.that the taking be accomplished without the use of violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things.

Theft is qualified when any of the following circumstances is present: the theft is committed by a domestic servant; the theft is committed with grave abuse of confidence; the property stolen is either a motor vehicle, mail matter or large cattle; the property stolen consists of coconuts taken from the premises of a plantation; the property stolen is fish taken from a fishpond or fishery; and the property was taken on the occasion of fire, earthquake, typhoon, volcanic eruption, or any other calamity, vehicular accident or civil disturbance. Section 2 of Republic Act No. 6539, as amended defines carnapping as the taking, with intent to gain, of a motor vehicle belonging to another without the latter's consent, or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things.

The elements of carnapping are thus: (1) the taking of a motor vehicle which belongs to another; (2) the taking is without the consent of the owner or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons or by using force upon things; and (3) the taking is done with intent to gain.

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Carnapping is essentially the robbery or theft of a motorized vehicle, the concept of unlawful taking in theft, robbery and carnapping being the same.

The unlawful taking of motor vehicles is now covered by the anti-carnapping law and not by the provisions on qualified theft or robbery.

The anti-carnapping law is a special law, different from the crime of robbery and theft included in the RPC. It particularly addresses the taking, with intent to gain, of a motor vehicle belonging to another without the latter's consent, or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things.

But a careful comparison of this special law with the crimes of robbery and theft readily reveals their common features and characteristics, to wit: unlawful taking, intent to gain, and that personal property belonging to another is taken without the latter's consent. However, the anti-carnapping law particularly deals with the theft and robbery of motor vehicles. Hence a motor vehicle is said to have been carnapped when it has been taken, with intent to gain, without the owner's consent, whether the taking was done with or without the use of force upon things.

Without the anti-carnapping law, such unlawful taking of a motor vehicle would fall within the purview of either theft or robbery which was certainly the case before the enactment of said statute.

While the anti-carnapping law penalizes the unlawful taking of motor vehicles, it excepts from its coverage certain vehicles such as roadrollers, trolleys, streetsweepers, sprinklers, lawn mowers, amphibian trucks and cranes if not used on public highways, vehicles which run only on rails and tracks, and tractors, trailers and tractor engines of all kinds and used exclusively for agricultural purposes. By implication, the theft or robbery of the foregoing vehicles would be covered by Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended and the provisions on robbery, respectively.

Since appellant is being accused of the unlawful taking of a Daewoo sedan, it is the anti-carnapping law and not the provisions of qualified theft which would apply as the said motor vehicle does not fall within the exceptions mentioned in the anti-carnapping law.
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The designation in the information of the offense committed by appellant as one for qualified theft notwithstanding, appellant may still be convicted of the crime of carnapping.For while it is necessary that the statutory designation be stated in the information, a mistake in the caption of an indictment in designating the correct name of the offense is not a fatal defect as it is not the designation that is controlling but the facts alleged in the information which determines the real nature of the crime.

In the case at bar, the information alleges that appellant, with intent to gain, took the taxi owned by Cipriano without the latters consent. Thus, the indictment alleges every element of the crime of carnapping, and the prosecution proved the same. Appellants appeal is thus bereft of merit.

That appellant brought out the taxi on December 25, 1996 and did not return it on the same day as he was supposed to is admitted.

Unlawful taking, or apoderamiento, is the taking of the motor vehicle without the consent of the owner, or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things; it is deemed complete from the moment the offender gains possession of the thing, even if he has no opportunity to dispose of the same. While the nature of appellants possession of the taxi was initially lawful as he was hired as a taxi driver and was entrusted possession thereof, his act of not returning it to its owner, which is contrary to company practice and against the owners consent transformed the character of the possession into an unlawful one. Appellant himself admits that he was aware that his possession of the taxi was no longer with Ciprianos consent as the latter was already demanding its return. Appellant assails the trial courts conclusion that there was intent to gain with the mere taking of the taxi without the owners consent. Appellants position does not persuade.

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Intent to gain or animus lucrandi is an internal act, presumed from the unlawful taking of the motor vehicle. Actual gain is irrelevant as the important consideration is the intent to gain. The term gain is not merely limited to pecuniary benefit but also includes the benefit which in any other sense may be derived or expected from the act which is performed. Thus, the mere use of the thing which was taken without the owners consent constitutes gain.

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Christine Perez 2006-0104

Art. 312: Occupation of Real Property or Usurpation of Real Rights in Property


Quinao v. People (335 SCRA 741)
Facts:

Both accused (Conchita Quinao and Salvador Cases) and private complainant Francisco Del Monte are claiming ownership over the land in question. Accused-appellant presented a tax declaration and alleged that the land being claimed by the complainant is different from the land litigated in Civil Cases No. 3561. Trial Court finds accused guilty of the crime of Usurpation of Real Rights in Property. Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. Hence, this case.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused-petitioner who claims to be owner of the land in question could be held liable of usurpation of her own property?

Decision:

Contrary to petitioner's allegation, the decision rendered by the trial court convicting her of the crime of usurpation of real property was not based on "speculations, surmises and conjectures" but clearly on the evidence on record and in accordance with the applicable law under Article 312 of Revised Penal Code.

The requisites of usurpation are that the accused took possession of another's real property or usurped real rights in another's property; that the possession or usurpation was committed with violence or intimidation and that the accused had animo lucrandi. In order to sustain a conviction for "usurpacion de derecho reales," the proof must show that the real property occupied or usurped belongs, not to the occupant or usurper, but to some third person, and that the possession of the usurper was obtained by means of intimidation or violence done to the person ousted of possession of the property.

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In Castrodes vs. Cubelo, the Court stated that the elements of the offense are (1) occupation of another's real property or usurpation of a real right belonging to another person; (2) violence or intimidation should be employed in possessing the real property or in usurping the real right, and (3) the accused should be animated by the intent to gain. Petitioner failed to give any cogent reason for this Court to deviate from this salutary principle.

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Bernadette Remalla 2007-0392

Art. 315: Estafa


Ong v. People (G.R. No. 165275)
Facts:

Petitioner had for years been buying jewelry from Gold Asia which is owned and operated by the family of private complainant Rosa Cabuso. While she normally bought jewelry on cash basis, she was allowed to issue postdated checks to cover the jewelry she bought in December 1994 up to February 1995, upon her assurance that the checks would be funded on their due dates. When, on maturity, the checks were deposited, they were returned with the stamp "Account Closed."

Hence, petitioner was indicted for Estafa. She was likewise indicted for 10 counts of violation of B.P. 22 before the RTC of Manila. RTC convicted petitioner of Estafa under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code. The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction. Motion for reconsideration was denied. Hence, the petition.

Issue:

Whether she could be convicted of Estafa under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code when she was, in the Information, charged of Estafa under Article 315, paragraph 2(d) of the same Code?

Held:

The appeal is impressed with merit.

Section 14(2) of Article III of the Constitution grants the accused the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation. This is to enable the accused to adequately prepare for his defense. An accused cannot thus be convicted of an offense unless it is clearly charged in the complaint or information.

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From the allegations in an information, the real nature of the crime charged is determined. In the case at bar, the Information alleged that petitioner issued the questioned checks knowing that she had no funds in the bank and failing to fund them despite notice that they were dishonored. These allegations clearly constitute a charge, not under paragraph 2(a) as the lower courts found but, under paragraph 2(d) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code.

Although the earlier quoted paragraph 2(a) and the immediately quoted paragraph 2(d) of Article 315 have a common element false pretenses or fraudulent acts the law treats Estafa under paragraph 2(d) by postdating a check or issuing a bouncing check differently. Thus, under paragraph 2(d), failure to fund the check despite notice of dishonor creates a prima facie presumption of deceit constituting false pretense or fraudulent act, which is not an element of a violation of paragraph 2(a).

Under paragraph 2(d), if there is no proof of notice of dishonor, knowledge of insufficiency of funds cannot be presumed, and unless there is a priori intent, which is hard to determine and may not be inferred from mere failure to comply with a promise, no Estafa can be deemed to exist.Notice of dishonor being then an element of a charge under Article 2(d) under which petitioner was clearly charged, failure to prove it is a ground for acquittal thereunder.

In the case at bar, as priorly stated, petitioner was charged under paragraph 2(d), but there is no evidence that petitioner received notice of dishonor of all, except one (Allied Bank Check No. 7600042 for P76,654), of the questioned checks. Hence, with respect to all but one of the checks, the prima facie presumption of knowledge of insufficiency of funds did not arise. This leaves it unnecessary to pass on the evidence for the defense. Suffice it to state that petitioners defenses of good faith and lack of criminal intent, defenses to a malum in se like Estafa, are not difficult to credit. For, on notice of the lack of sufficient funds in her bank account, to cover the Allied Bank check, petitioner offered to pay in installment, to which the private complainant agreed, the amount covered by the said check, as well as the others. As reflected above, the prosecution stipulated that petitioner had made a total payment of P338,250, which amount is almost one-third of the total amount of the ten checks or more than the amount covered by the P76,654 Allied Bank check.

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In fine, the prosecution having failed to establish all the elements of Estafa under Article 315, paragraph 2(d) under which petitioner was clearly charged, her acquittal is in order. The judgment bearing on her civil liability stands, however.

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Bernadette Remalla 2007-0392

Chua v. People (G.R. Nos. 150926 and 30)


Facts:

Private complainant Araceli Estigoy was engaged in the buy and sell of imported goods from 1982 to 1984 when she met appellant (Anita Chua) who transacted twice with her. n November 25, 1982, appellant issued to complainant in payment of imported (PX) items postdated checks drawn against Pacific Bank, Tarlac branch. On December 4, 1982, appellant again went to complainants house, purchased some imported items and issued another set of postdated checks drawn against the same bank in Tarlac. On their due dates, complainant deposited the checks in the bank but they were dishonored, as evidenced by the check return slips with annotations as follows: "drawn against insufficient funds" and/or "account closed". Complainant notified appellant of the dishonor and

demanded payment of the checks. Appellant failed to redeem or pay the amounts of the checks despite several demands. Appellant admitted issuing the checks but interposed the defense that she issued the checks as collateral and by way of accommodation of the complainant who requested for the checks. The Regional Trial Court found appellant guilty of violation of Article 315 (2)(d) of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). The Court of Appeals upheld the judgment of conviction rendered by the court a quo, with a slight modification as to the penalty imposed. Hence, the petition.

Issue:

Whether or not Anita Chua is guilty of Estafa under Article 315 (2)(d) of the RPC?

Decision:

Article 315 (2)(d) of the RPC penalizes any person who defrauds another by postdating a check or issuing a check in payment of an obligation when the offender has no funds in the bank or his funds deposited therein are not sufficient to cover the amount of the check.

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The elements of estafa under Article 315, paragraph 2(d) of the RPC, as amended by RA 4885, are:

(1) that the offender postdated or issued a check in payment of an obligation contracted at the time of the postdating or issuance; (2) that the at the time of the issuance of the check, the offender had no funds in the bank or the funds deposited were insufficient to cover the amount of the check; and, (3) that the payee has been defrauded.

All the elements of the crime of estafa under par. 2(d) of Art. 315, RPC are present in this case. The evidence showed and petitioner Chua admitted issuing the questioned checks in favor of private respondent in exchange for the imported goods she obtained from the latter. It is likewise not disputed that the checks she issued bounced or were dishonored due to insufficiency of funds and/or because her bank account had already been closed by the bank due to lack of funds. As a result, private respondent suffered damage. She had to close down her business because she could not recoup her losses due to the huge amount petitioner owed her. Petitioners defense that she issued the unfunded checks as collateral or security for the goods she got from private respondent was not worthy of credence. the amounts of the checks issued by petitioner clearly showed that they were intended as payments for the items she obtained from private respondent. Private respondent would not have parted with her goods in exchange for bum checks. It was likewise contrary to ordinary human experience and to sound business practice for petitioner to issue so many unfunded checks as "collateral" or "by way of accommodation." As an experienced

businesswoman, petitioner could not have been so nave as not to know that she could be held criminally liable for issuing unfunded checks.

Ergo, the petition is denied for lack of merit.

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Bernadette Remalla 2007-0392

Gonzaludo v. People (G.R. No. 150910)


Facts:

Before his death in 1992, one Ulysses Villaflor was a member of the Bacolod City Police Office. On January 11, 1978, Ulysses married Anita Manlangit in Bacolod City. Thereafter, the couple stayed with Ulyssess mother at the latters house at Bacolod City. Later, Ulysses was assigned to Pagadian City. Meanwhile, his wife Anita secured a teaching job in Catubig, Samar prompting her to leave Bacolod City and live in Samar.

After less than a year in Pagadian City, Ulysses was re-assigned to Bacolod City. And, in December of 1978, he was able to buy for P1,500.00 a small house located near that of his mother at Purok 5, Mansungay, Bacolod City. Then, in 1985, Ulysses took one Rosemarie Gelogo as his mistress and brought her into the house. In time, improvements were made on the house and the house was transformed into a 2-storey structure. After Ulyssess demise in January of 1992, his mistress Rosemarie Gelogo offered to sell the 2-storey house for P80,000.00 to herein petitioner Bienvenido Gonzaludo, a.k.a. Ben Gonzaludo, who lives just nearby. Since the house was being sold for a cheap price, petitioner convinced the spouses Gregg Canlas and Melba Canlas, to whom he is related by affinity, to buy the same. Herein, petitioner introduced the Canlases to Rosemarie Gelogo. In the Deed of Sale, Rosemarie Gelogo signed as Rosemarie G. Villaflor and represented herself to be the lawful owner of the 2storey house. By virtue of the same deed, vendee Gregg Canlas acquired all of Rosemaries rights and interest on the subject house. Later, upon complaint of Ulyssess widow Anita Manlangit, an Information dated May 31, 1994 was filed with the Regional Trial Court of Bacolod City charging Rosemarie Gelogo, alias Rosemarie Villaflor, the spouses Gregg Canlas and Melba Canlas and petitioner with the crime of Estafa thru Falsification of Public Document. The trial court acquitted the Canlas spouses but convicted petitioner of the crime charged. The appellate affirmed the trial courts judgment of conviction.

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Issue:

Whether or not Rosemarie Villaflor is guilty of the crime of Estafa thru Falsification of Public Document as defined and punished under Paragraph 2(a), Article 315, Revised Penal Code considering that the third element of the crime of Estafa is not present?

Decision:

The petition is partly impressed with merit.

For an accused to be convicted of the complex crime of estafa through falsification of public document, all the elements of the two crimes of estafa and falsification of public document must exist.

There is no question that the first, second and fourth elements are present: there was false or fraudulent misrepresentation by Rosemarie Gelogo when she used the fictitious surname "Villaflor"; the misrepresentation or false pretense was made prior to or simultaneous with the commission of the fraud; and private complainant Anita Manlangits right to the subject 2-storey house was lost or at the very least prejudiced when Rosemarie sold it to the Canlases. It is petitioners thesis, however, that there is here an absence of the third element contending that private complainant Anita Manlangit, who was the offended party in this case, was never induced to part with any money or property by means of fraud, committed simultaneously with the false pretense or fraudulent representation by Rosemarie. The Court find merit in petitioners submission.

The Court finds no cogent reason to depart from the settled principle that the deceit, which must be prior to or simultaneously committed with the act of defraudation, must be the efficient cause or primary consideration which induced the offended party to part with his money or property and rule differently in the present case.

While it may be said that there was fraud or deceit committed by Rosemarie in this case, when she used the surname "Villaflor" to give her semblance of authority to sell the subject 2-storey house, such fraud or deceit
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was employed upon the Canlas spouses who were the ones who parted with their money when they bought the house. However, the Information charging Rosemarie of estafa in the present case, alleged damage or injury not upon the Canlas spouses, but upon private complainant, Anita Manlangit. Since the deceit or fraud was not the efficient cause and did not induce Anita Manlangit to part with her property in this case, Rosemarie cannot be held liable for estafa. With all the more reason must this be for herein petitioner.

The lack of criminal liability for estafa, however, will not necessarily absolve petitioner from criminal liability arising from the charge of falsification of public document under the same Information charging the complex crime of estafa through falsification of public document.

It is settled doctrine that the conviction of an accused on one of the offenses included in a complex crime charged, when properly established, despite the failure of evidence to hold the accused of the other charge is legally feasible. As correctly found by the trial court, petitioner conspired with Rosemarie to falsify, that is, by making untruthful statement in the narration of facts in the deed of sale, by declaring Rosemarie to be the owner of the house subject of such sale and signing as "Rosemarie Villaflor" instead of her real name, Rosemarie Gelogo, in order to sell the same to the Canlas spouses. It is established by evidence beyond reasonable doubt that Rosemarie committed the crime of falsification of public document. Likewise, proof beyond reasonable doubt has been duly adduced to establish conspiracy between Rosemarie and petitioner who is the brother-in-law of Melba Canlas, one of the buyers of the house in this case.

Petitioner is acquitted of the complex crime of Estafa through Falsification of Public Document, but found guilty of the crime of Falsification of Public Document.

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Michelle Ricaza 2008-0040

Art. 318: Other Deceits


Jaime Guinhawa vs. People (G.R. No. 162822)
Facts:

Jaime Guinhawa was engaged in the business of selling brand new motor vehicles, including Mitsubishi vans, under the business name of Guinrox Motor Sales. His office and display room for cars were located along Panganiban Avenue, Naga City. He employed Gil Azotea as his sales manager.

Spouses Ralph and Josephine Silo purchased a, what would seem as a brand new Mitsubishi L-300 Versa Van that was displayed in the show room of the petitioner. They were not informed that said van was damaged due to a vehicular accident that occurred when Guinhawas driver, Leopoldo Olayan, suffered a heart attack while traveling from Manila to Naga City On March 17, 1995 when said van was initially purchased by petitioner from Union Motors Corporation in Paco, Manila. A day after Spouses Silos purchase of the van, they heard a squeaking sound which seemed to be coming from underneath the van. Believing that the van merely needed grease, they stopped at a Shell gasoline station where it was examined. The mechanic discovered that some parts underneath the van had been welded. When they complained to Guinhawa, the latter told them that the defects were mere factory defects. As the defects persisted, the spouses Silo requested that Guinhawa change the van with two Charade-Daihatsu vehicles. Guinhawa initially agreed to the couples proposal, but later changed his mind and told them that he had to sell the van first. The spouses then brought the vehicle to the Rx Auto Clinic in Naga City for examination. The mechanic discovered that it was the left front stabilizer that was producing the annoying sound, and that it had been repaired.

Josephine Silo filed a complaint for the rescission of the sale and the refund of their money before the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). During the confrontation between her and Guinhawa, Josephine learned that Guinhawa had bought the van from UMC before it was sold to them, and after it was damaged in

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the vehicular accident. Subsequently, the spouses Silo withdrew their complaint from the DTI.

On February 14, 1996, Josephine Silo filed a criminal complaint for violation of paragraph 1, Article 318 of the Revised Penal Code against Guinhawa.

Issue:

Whether or not Jaime Guinhawa violated Article 318 of the RPC covering other deceits?

Decision:

Yes, Jaime Guinhawa violated Article 318.

Petitioner insists that the private complainant merely assumed that the van was brand new, and that he did not make any misrepresentation to that effect. He avers that deceit cannot be committed by concealment, the absence of any notice to the public that the van was not brand new does not amount to deceit.

The Supreme Court held that the petitioner cannot barefacedly claim that he made no personal representation that the herein subject van was brand new for the simple reason that nowhere in the records did he ever refute the allegation in the complaint, which held him out as a dealer of brand new cars. It has thus become admitted that the petitioner was dealing with brand new vehicles a fact which, up to now, petitioner has not categorically denied. Therefore, when private complainant went to petitioners showroom, the former had every right to assume that she was being sold brand new vehicles there being nothing to indicate otherwise. But as it turned out, not only did private complainant get a defective and used van, the vehicle had also earlier figured in a road accident when driven by no less than petitioners own driver.

It is true that mere silence is not in itself concealment. Concealment which the law denounces as fraudulent implies a purpose or design to hide facts which the other party sought to know. Failure to reveal a fact which the seller is, in good faith, bound to disclose may generally be classified as a deceptive act due to its inherent capacity to deceive. Suppression of a material fact which a party is
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bound in good faith to disclose is equivalent to a false representation. Moreover, a representation is not confined to words or positive assertions; it may consist as well of deeds, acts or artifacts of a nature calculated to mislead another and thus allow the fraud-feasor to obtain an undue advantage.

The petitioner knew that the van had figured in an accident, was damaged and had to be repaired. Nevertheless, the van was placed in the showroom, thus making it appear to the public that it was a brand new unit. The petitioner was mandated to reveal the foregoing facts to the private complainant. But the petitioner even obdurately declared when they testified in the court a quo that the vehicle did not figure in an accident, nor had it been repaired; they maintained that the van was brand new. Thus, the private complainant bought the van, believing it was brand new. Hence, petitioner Guinhawa is guilty of the crime of Other Deceits punishable under Article 318 of the Revised Penal Code.

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Sheryll Tablico 2008-0341

Title 11: Crimes against Chastity


Art. 333, 334: Adultery and Concubinage
Beltran v. People (G.R. No. 137567)
Facts:

Meynardo Beltran herein petitioner and wife Charmaine E. Felix were married on June 16, 1973 at the Immaculate Concepcion Parish Church in Cubao, Quezon City.

After twenty-four years of marriage and four children, petitioner filed a petition for nullity of marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. In her Answer to the said petition, petitioner's wife Charmaine Felix alleged that it was petitioner who abandoned the conjugal home and lived with a certain woman named Milagros Salting. Charmaine subsequently filed a criminal complaint for concubinage under Article 334 of the Revised Penal Code against petitioner and his paramour.

In order to forestall the issuance of a warrant for his arrest, filed a Motion to Defer Proceedings including the Issuance of the Warrant of Arrest in the criminal case. Petitioner argued that the pendency of the civil case for declaration of nullity of his marriage posed a prejudicial question to the determination of the criminal case.

Issue:

Whether or not the pendency of the petition for the declaration of nullity of petitioners marriage is a prejudicial question that should merit the suspension of the criminal case for concubinage filed against him by his wife?

Decision:

No. The pendency of the case for declaration of nullity of petitioner's marriage is not a prejudicial question to the concubinage case. For a civil case to
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be considered prejudicial to a criminal action as to cause the suspension of the latter pending the final determination of the civil case, it must appear not only that the said civil case involves the same facts upon which the criminal prosecution would be based, but also that in the resolution of the issue or issues raised in the aforesaid civil action, the guilt or innocence of the accused would necessarily be determined.

So that in a case for concubinage, the accused, like the herein petitioner need not present a final judgment declaring his marriage void for he can adduce evidence in the criminal case of the nullity of his marriage other than proof of a final judgment declaring his marriage void. With regard to petitioner's argument that he could be acquitted of the charge of concubinage should his marriage be declared null and void, suffice it to state that even a subsequent pronouncement that his marriage is void from the beginning is not a defense.

Therefore, in the case at bar it must also be held that parties to the marriage should not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for the same must be submitted to the judgment of the competent courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so declared can it be held as void, and so long as there is no such declaration the presumption is that the marriage exists for all intents and purposes. Therefore, he who cohabits with a woman not his wife before the judicial declaration of nullity of the marriage assumes the risk of being prosecuted for concubinage. The lower court therefore, has not erred in affirming the Orders of the judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court ruling that pendency of a civil action for nullity of marriage does not pose a prejudicial question in a criminal case for concubinage.

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Sheryll Tablico 2008-0341

Vera Neri v. People (G.R. No. 96602)


Facts:

Dr. Jorge B. Neri filed a criminal complaint for adultery before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Benguet against his wife, Ruby Vera Neri, and Eduardo Arroyo in the City of Baguio.

On November 2, 1982, accused, Mrs. Ruby Vera Neri in the company of Mrs. Linda Sare and witness Jabunan, took the morning plane to Baguio. Arriving at around 11:00 a.m., they dropped first at the house of Mrs. Vera, mother of Ruby Vera at Crystal Cave, Baguio City then proceeded to the Mines View Park Condominium of the Neri spouses. At around 7:00 o' clock in the evening, accused Eduardo Arroyo arrived at the Neris' condominium. Witness opened the door for Arroyo who entered, he went down to and knocked at the master's bedroom where accused Ruby Vera Neri and her companion Linda Sare were. On accused Ruby Vera Neri's request, Linda Sare left the master's bedroom and went upstairs to the sala leaving the two accused. About forty-five minutes later, Arroyo Jr. came up and told Linda Sare that she could already come down. Three of them, thereafter, went up to the sala then left the condominium.

Petitioner Arroyo filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Court of Appeals' Decision. Petitioner Ruby Vera Neri also moved for reconsideration or a new trial, contending that a pardon had been extended by her husband, private complainant Dr. Jorge B. Neri, and that her husband had later on traded marriage with another woman with whom he is presently co-habiting. Both motions were denied by the Court of Appeals.

Issue: Whether or not Dr. Neris alleged extra-marital affair precludes him from filing the criminal complaint on the ground of pari delicto.

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Decision:

The concept of pari delicto is not found in the Revised Penal Code, but only in Article 1411 of the Civil Code. The Court notes that Article 1411 of the Civil Code relates only to contracts with illegal consideration. The case at bar does not involve any illegal contract which either of the contracting parties is now seeking to enforce. In the Guinucud case, the Court found that the complaining husband, by entering into an agreement with his wife that each of them were to live separately and could marry other persons and by filing complaint only about a year after discovering his wife's infidelity, had "consented to, and acquiesced in, the adulterous relations existing between the accused, and he is therefore, not authorized by law to institute the criminal proceedings." In fine,

the Guinucud case refers not to the notion of pari delicto but to consent as a bar to the institution of the criminal proceedings. In the present case, no such acquiescence can be implied: the accused did not enter into any agreement with Dr. Neri allowing each other to marry or cohabit with other persons and Dr. Neri promptly filed his complaint after discovering the illicit affair.

It should also be noted that while Article 344 of the Revise Penal Code provides that the crime of adultery cannot be prosecuted without the offended spouse's complaint, once the complaint has been filed, the control of the case passes to the public prosecutor. Enforcement of our law on adultery is not exclusively, nor even principally, a matter of vindication of the private honor of the offended spouse; much less is it a matter merely of personal or social hypocrisy. Such enforcement relates, more importantly, to protection of the basic social institutions of marriage and the family in the preservation of which the State has the strongest interest; the public policy here involved is of the most fundamental kind.

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Anna May Vallejos 2007-0140

Art. 338: Simple Seduction


People v. Pascua (GR No. 128159-62)
Facts:

On four separate incidents and as early as August 1995, accusedappelant Hipolito Pascua, a 65-year old man, had succeeded in having sexual intercourse twice with Liza Paragas and also twice with her twin sister Anna, both of whom were of 12 years of age then.

On said four separate incidents, accused-appellant would always call on the twins while they were playing in front of his house; instruct them to go inside his house; and once inside order them to take off their pants and insert his penis inside their vaginas, while threatening them not to scream for he would kill them. After his sexual advances, he would give them money from P5 to P10 and threaten them again not to tell their mother about what happened or he would kill them.

Fearing for their lives, the twins did not tell their mother about what happened. It was only when their older sister, Rosalina, had told their mother about it, based on the confession of accused-appellants granddaughter who saw him rape Liza, had she learned of the incidents.

Wasting no time and propelled by her rage of what she had learned, their mother filed four separate complaints for rape against accused-appellant. This was after she had her twins physically examined by a doctor who, based on his findings, confirmed that the twins were indeed sexually-abused.

The trial court found accused-appellant guilty of all the charges, sentenced him with the penalty of reclusion perpetua and ordered him to pay each twin with P100,000 as indemnity for moral damages.

On appeal, appellant, maintained and consistently argued that the intercourse he had with twins were all consensual and that the complainants in fact, would always visit him at his house asking for money and sexual

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satisfaction. He further argued that if any, he would, be only held liable for simple seduction.

Issue:

Whether or not accused-appellant may be held liable for the crime of rape even if allegedly he did not employ force in order to have sexual intercourse with the twins?

Whether or not he is liable for simple seduction?

Decision:

Yes. It is clear from the foregoing testimony that private complainants tried to scream but the appellant prevented them by threatening to kill them. Also, after each rape incident, private complainants were warned by the appellant not to tell their mother what happened to them. It is settled that a rape victim is not required to resist her attacker unto death. Force, as an element of rape, need not be irresistible; it need only be present and so long as it brings about the desired result, all considerations of whether it was more or less irresistible is beside the point. Indeed, physical resistance need not be established in rape when, as in this case, intimidation was used on the victim and she submitted to the rapists lust for fear of her life or her personal safety. Jurisprudence holds that even though a man lays no hand on a woman, yet, if by an array of physical forces, he so overpowers her mind that she does not resist or she ceases resistance through fear of greater harm, the consummation of unlawful intercourse by the man is rape. Without question, the prosecution was able to prove that force or intimidation was actually employed by the appellant on the two victims to satisfy his lust.

No. Equally untenable is the argument of the appellant that, if he is at all liable for anything, it should only be for simple seduction. Under Article 338 of the Revised Penal Code, to constitute seduction, there must in all cases be some deceitful promise or inducement. The woman should have yielded because of this promise or inducement. In this case, the appellant claims that the acts of sexual intercourse with the private complainants were in exchange for money. He declared that, prior to every sexual intercourse with Liza and Anna, he would promise them P20. However, aside from his bare testimony, the appellant
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presented no proof that private complainants consent was secured by means of such promise. As aptly opined by the trial court, the money given by the appellant to private complainants was not intended to lure them to have sex with him. Rather, it was for the purpose of buying their silence to ensure that nobody discovered his dastardly acts. The evidence for the prosecution was more than enough to show that the element of voluntariness on the part of private complainants was totally absent. Liza and Annas respective testimonies established that the appellant had sexual intercourse with them without their consent and against their will. Considering that the victims accounts of what the appellant did to them were absolutely credible and believable, the trial court correctly convicted the appellant of several crimes of rape against the 12-yearold twins, Liza and Anna Paragas.

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Anna May Vallejos 2007-0140

People v. Teodosio (GR. No. 97496)


Facts:

In a complaint filed against defendant-appellant Fernando Carreon, who was a 4th year college student, Elaine Cesar, who was then only 12 years and 6 months old, alleged therein that on December 19, 1985 Fernando raped her against her will. According to her, she did not gave her consent to said incident as Fernando gave her softdrinks which made her unconscious and thus enable him to succeed in having carnal knowledge with her at the Champion Lodge Inn at Sta. Cruz Manila where she was dragged forcefully by Fernando.

Fernando for his part denied in his answer that she forced her in having sexual intercourse with him because according to him she agreed to go and stay with him at Champion Lodge Inn.

Based on the record, it was undisputed that prior to the said incident, Fernando and Elaine were together. Earlier that day he accompanied her to her Christmas party at her school in Manila Central University in the morning; went to Luneta Park and took a stroll; thereafter went to Cubao and ate at a fastfood restaurant; then she accompanied him to his school at Lyceum where he took his examination; and then finally they went to Champion Lodge Inn where said incident took place.

After said incident, Elaine told it to her mother who, without wasting time, brought her to PC Crime Laboratory for a physical examination, the result of which revealed that she had a fresh laceration on her hymen. Based on said findings, a complaint was filed against Fernando.

After arraignment, Fernando pleaded not guilty. In the meantime during her testimony before the court, Elaine admitted that she knew Fernando because they were neighbors. She even admitted that they were sweethearts and that she had given him her photo, at the back of which, she had her personal message for him.

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The trial court rendered a decision convicting accused of the offense charged. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the assailed decision and imposed upon defendant the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The case was brought to the Supreme court through an automatic review.

Issues:

Whether or not the trial court had proven the guilt of defendant for the crime of rape beyond reasonable doubt?

Whether or not defendant may be held liable for the crime of simple seduction?

Decision:

NO. The contradictions in the testimony of Elaine where she attempted to prove that their coition was involuntary rather than fortify the case of the prosecution, served to demolish the same.

Firstly, while Elaine claimed she was dragged to the hotel, her medical examination did not reveal any contusions on her body showing use of any force on her. Indeed, if she was under any compulsion, she could easily have escaped during the many hours they were together going from one place to another, but she did not. She was enjoying their tryst.

Secondly, if she was really drugged she should have been given at least a blood and urine test to determine if there were any remaining chemicals in her system. This was not done.

Thirdly, after the incident, Elaine was composed and was not disturbed at all. She did not show any sign of having had a traumatic experience. It was only when her mother scolded her that she contrived her story.

Fourthly, in one part of her Sagot Salaysay submitted to the fiscal's office, she said she did not accept the invitation of appellant for them to go to the Luneta. In another part thereof, she said she accepted the same. 6 In court, she said she agreed to go to the Luneta and thereafter she said she was forced.
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She also stated in her Sagot Salaysay that she was only persuaded to give appellant her photograph and appellant dictated what she wrote thereon. In court she admitted she gave the photograph to appellant and that appellant did not ask her to write the dedication thereon.

Verily, the foregoing circumstances effectively disprove the theory of force and involuntariness in the sexual interlude of the two.

What is obvious and clear is that these two young lovers, carried by their mutual desire for each other, in a moment of recklessness, slept together and thus consummated the fruition of their brief love affair. Appellant cannot be held liable for rape as there was none committed. It was a consensual affair.

NO. Article 338 of the Revised Penal Code provides: Simple seduction. The seduction of a woman who is

Art. 338.

single or a widow of good reputation, over twelve but under eighteen years of age, committed by means of deceit, shall be punished by arresto mayor. All the elements of the offense are present. Frankly 1. 2. 3. 4. Elaine was over 12 and under 18 years of age. She is single and of good reputation. The offender had sexual intercourse with her. It was committed by deceit.

Appellant said he planned to marry Elaine and for this reason he successfully persuaded her to give up her virginity. This is the deceit contemplated by law that attended the commission of the offense.

Section 4, Rule 120 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure provides: Sec. 4. Judgment in case of variance between allegation and proof. When there is variance between the offense charged in the complaint or information, and that proved or established by the evidence, and the offense as charged is included in or necessarily includes the offense proved, the accused shall be convicted of the offense proved included in that which is charged, or of the offense charged included in that which is proved.
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Unfortunately, the essential ingredients of simple seduction are not alleged nor necessarily included in the offense charged in the information. The only elements of the offense alleged in the sworn complaint of the offended party are that she is over 12 years of age when appellant had carnal knowledge of her. Thus, appellant cannot be convicted even for simple seduction either.

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Brian Bonifacio Dela Cruz 2007-0388

Art. 344: Prosecution of the Crimes of Adultery, Concubinage, Seduction, Abduction, Rape and Acts of Lasciviousness
Beltran v. People (334 SCRA 106)
Facts:

Petitioner Meynardo Beltran and wife Charmaine Felix were legally married. After 24 years of marriage and having four children, petitioner filed a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity under Art. 36 of the Family Code. In her answer to said petition, Charmaine Felix alleged that it was petitioner who abandoned the conjugal home and cohabited with a woman named Milagros. Felix then filed a criminal complaint for concubinage under Art. 344 of the RPC against petitioner and his paramour. The City prosecutor of Makati found probable cause and ordered the filing of an information against petitioner.

On the other hand, petitioner, in order to forestall the issuance of warrant of arrest, filed a motion to defer proceedings. He argued that the pendency of the civil case for declaration of nullity of marriage posed a prejudicial question to the determination of the criminal case of concubinage against him.

Issue:

Whether or not the criminal case of concubinage should be suspended on the ground of a prejudicial question in the civil case for declaration of nullity of marriage?

Decision:

The pendency of the civil case for declaration of nullity of marriage is not a prejudicial question to the concubinage case. Article 40 of the Civil Code provides that the absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked for the purposes of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void. In view of this provision, it follows that for purposes other than remarriage, other evidence is acceptable. Therefore in a case for
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concubinage, the accused, like the herein petitioner, need not present a final judgment declaring his marriage void for he can adduce evidence in the criminal case of the nullity of his marriage other than proof of a final judgment declaring his marriage void.

A subsequent pronouncement that marriage is void from the beginning is not a defense in a concubinage case. He who cohabits with a woman not his wife before the judicial declaration of nullity of the marriage assumes the risk of being prosecuted for concubinage.

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Brian Bonifacio Dela Cruz 2007-0388

People v. Tipay (329 SCRA 52)


Facts:

Susan Pelaez, 15 years old, suffering from mild mental retardation and transient psychotic illness, was assisted by her grandmother Flora Deguino to file a criminal complaint for the crime of rape against her stepfather named Romeo Tipay.

The evidence of the prosecution showed that the accused raped his stepdaughter Susan several times whenever the latters mother and siblings were out of the house. Susan was threatened by the accused that he would kill Susans family member if she would tell anyone about it. One day, Susan complained to her grandmother that her head was aching. Flora had Susan checked up by a midwife. The midwife found out that Susan is 4-months pregnant and it was at this moment that Susan confided to her grandmother that she was being raped by her stepfather.

Sometime in 1996, the lower court convicted the accused of the crime of rape under Art. 344 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by RA 7659 and sentenced the accused to Death Penalty which caused the automatic review by the Supreme Court.

Issues:

Whether or not the trial court committed grave error when it convicted the accused under a fatally defective complaint as it was Susans grandmother who filed the same, when it should have been Marilyn (Susans mother), in accordance with Sec. 5 of the Rules of Court?

Whether or not the death penalty should be imposed?

Decision:

Under Sec. 5, par. 3 of Rule 110, where the offended party is a minor, her parents, grandparents, or guardian may file the complaint. The right to file the
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action granted to parents, grandparents or guardian shall be exclusive of all other persons and shall be exercised successively in the order herein provided. However, with the advent of RA 8353, which reclassified rape as a crime against person and no longer a private crime, for which reason, the complaint can now be instituted by any person. It is also worthy to note that in the case of People vs. Estrebella, it was held that any technical defect in a complaint for rape would be remedied by testimony showing the consent and willingness of the family of the complainant who cannot give her consent (due to minority or mental retardation, for instance) to have the private offense publicly tried. In the case at bar, Marilyn Deguino (complainants mother) herself requested Susans grandmother to take care of the case.

The Supreme Court, however, held that the trial court erred in imposing death penalty on accused-appellant. In view of RA 7659 (the Death Penalty Law) applicability in the crime of rape, which imposes death penalty when the victim is under 18 years of age and the offender is her parent, ascendant, step-parent.. it is required that the prosecution proved with certainty the fact that the victim was under 18 years of age when the rape was committed in order to justify the imposition of death penalty. In the case at bar, the allegation in the complaint that complainant is under 16 years of age when the crime was committed and that the accused-appellant lack of denial in that regard is not sufficient to excuse the prosecution of its burden to prove said qualifying circumstance by competent evidence.

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Brian Bonifacio Dela Cruz 2007-0388

Alonte v. Savellano (287 SCRA 245)


Facts:

Before the Supreme Court are consolidated petitions filed by Bayani M. Alonte and Buenaventura Concepcion which both assails the decision of the respondent Judge Maximo Savellano, Jr.., of the Regional Trial Court of Manila finding both petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape.

An information for rape was filed on December 5, 1996 against petitioners Alonte (incumbent Mayor of Bian, Laguna) and the latters accomplice Concepcion based on a complaint filed by Juvie-lyn Punongbayan. Said information alleged that on or about September 12, 1996, in Sto. Tomas, Bian, Laguna, accused Concepcion brought Juvie-lyn to Alontes resthouse and left her to Alonte after receiving P1,000.00. Alonte gave Juvie-lyn water to drink that made her dizzy and weak and against the latters will and consent raped her.

In 1996, Juvie-lyn, through her counsel, Atty. Balbin, and Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Guiyab, Jr., filed with the Office of the Court Administrator a Petition for Change of Venue to have the case transferred and tried by any of the Regional Trial Courts in Metro Manila. The same has been approved on September 20, 1997. On the other hand, during the pendency of the petition for change of venue, Juvie-lyn, assisted by her parents and counsel, executed an affidavit of desistance.

Meanwhile, in 1997, Atty. Casano on behalf of petitioners, moved to have the petition for change of venue dismissed on the ground that it had become moot in view of complainants affidavit of desistance. Upon arraignment on November 07 1997, petitioners both pleaded not guilty to the charge. From November 10, 1997 to December 10, 1997, petitioners filed five Urgent Motion to Admit to Bail to which the respondent judge did not act on.

Accused were sentenced to suffer the indivisible penalty of Reclusion Perpetua for having been found guilty of the crime of rape.
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Issue:

Whether or not the affidavit of desistance filed by the offended party extinguished the criminal liability of the accused?

Decision:

An affidavit of desistance by itself, even when construed as a pardon in the so-called "private crimes," is not a ground for the dismissal of the criminal case once the action has been instituted. The affidavit, nevertheless, may, as so earlier intimated, possibly constitute evidence whose weight or probative value, like any other piece of evidence, would be up to the court for proper evaluation. Paragraph 3 of Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code prohibits a prosecution for seduction, abduction, rape, or acts of lasciviousness, except upon a complaint made by the offended party or her parents, grandparents, or guardian, nor, in any case, if the offender has been expressly pardoned by the above-named persons, as the case may be. It does not prohibit the continuance of a prosecution if the offended party pardons the offender after the case has been instituted, nor does it order the dismissal of said case.

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Eileen S. Tan 2007-0027

Art.336: Acts of Lasciviousness


Amployo vs. People (457 SCRA 340)
Facts:

Alvin Amployo was charged with violation of RA 7610 or Child Abuse. Private complainant Kristine Joy alleged that one morning, while she was walking to school, Alvin approached her and placed his hand on her shoulder where it went down to her breast. Kristine Joy told her grandmother about it. Along with her mother and grandmother, they went to DSWD to report the incident. The latter filed a complaint with the RTC. The latter rendered decision finding Alvin Amployo guilty of the crime charged. CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. Amployo contends that the element of lewd design was not sufficiently proven. Furthermore, he posits that even if lewd design was sufficiently proved, he must only be charged for the offense of Acts of Lasciviousness and not Child Abuse.

Issue:

Whether or not Alvin Ampayo is guilty of Child Abuse under RA 7610?

Decision:

Yes. The term 'lewd is commonly defined as something indecent or obscene. It is characterized by or intended to excite crude sexual desire. That an accused is entertaining a lewd or unchaste design is necessarily a mental process the existence of which can be inferred by overt acts carrying out such intention. The presence or absence of lewd designs is inferred from the nature of the acts themselves and the environmental circumstances.

In the present case it would have been easy to entertain the possibility that what happened was merely an accident if it only happened once. Such is not the case, however, as Alvin Ampayo did the very same act to Kristine Joy in the past. As to Alvins argument that human experience negates the presence of lewd design as Kristine Joy had no developed breasts with which to entice him, human experience has taught us painfully well that sexual misconduct defies

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categorization and what might be an unusual, unlikely or impossible sexual conduct for most might very well be the norm for some.

Pursuant to Sec. 5 of RA 7610, before an accused can be convicted of child abuse through lascivious conduct on a minor below 12 years of age, the requisites for acts of lasciviousness under Article 336 of the RPC must be met in addition to the requisites for sexual abuse under Section 5 of Rep. Act No. 7610. Thus, Alvin Ampayo is guilty for the crime of Child Abuse because the prosecution sufficiently proved the elements of acts of lasciviousness.

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Eileen S. Tan 2007-0027

People vs. Collado (353 SCRA 381)


Facts:

Messeah confronted her mother about the sexual abuses she sustained from her distant cousin, accused Jessie Ventura Collado who also lives with them in one roof. Since Messeahs father was a seaman, their children were left in the care of Jessie. Messeah recounted four occasions where she was

molested. The first of which happened on 27 April 1993 when Jessie tied her on the bed and attempted to insert his penis to her vagina. When he was unsuccessful, he then inserted the same to her anus.

The second instance happened on 5 June 1993 when Messeah was grabbed by Jessie and dragged her upstairs. He told her to take off her shorts and panties, took off his shorts, pressed her legs apart with his two (2) legs, and rubbed his penis against her thighs, until it touched her vagina.

On 7 July 1993, the third molestation occurred when Messeah and her brother Metheor were again left home with Jessie. Armed with a knife, Jessie forced Messeah to sit on a chair. He took off her shorts and underwear and spread her legs. He inserted and rubbed his penis between her thighs until it touched her vagina.

Another similar incident happened on 17 October 1993. While, Messeah was changing her clothes, Jessie entered the room and inserted his smallest finger into her vagina. He then removed his pants and briefs and went on top of her but his penis was not able to touch her vagina because Messeah cried for help and Metheor came and told Jessie to get away. After Messeahs parents learned about their daughters ordeal they decided to file complaints against him for one (1) count of consummated rape and three (3) counts of acts of lasciviousness. RTC rendered decision holding Jessie liable for statutory rape and 3 counts of acts of lasciviousness.

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Isue:

Whether or not Jessie should be held liable for acts of lasciviousness and statutory rape?

Decision:

The trial court was correct in finding accused-appellant guilty of three (3) counts of acts of lasciviousness. However, RTC erred in sentencing him guilty for statutory rape because he should only be convicted for acts of lasciviousness.

While Jessie succeeded in touching her genitalia with his private parts there was no indication that it successfully penetrated at least the labia of the victim.

We recall that during the first incident of 27 April 1993, accused-appellant tried forcing his penis into her vagina, but when he failed in his first attempt, he inserted it into her anus instead. This could have been attempted rape, or even consummated rape but the Complaint filed was only for acts of lasciviousness. By then he must have realized that it was difficult to penetrate his victims sex organ. Touching of the female organ will result in consummated rape if the penis slid into or touched either labia of the pudendum. Anything short of that will only result in either attempted rape or acts of lasciviousness.

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Eileen S. Tan 2007-0027

Dulla vs. Court of Appeals (326 SCRA 32)


Facts:

An information for rape was filed against Nicanor Dulla. During the trial, it was established that three year old Andrea Ortega came home crying with bruises on her thighs saying that his uncle showed his penis to her. In her own words she said inaano ako ni uncle while doing a pumping motion on her lower body. The medical report on Andrea showed that her hymen was still intact. Based on the foregoing evidence, the trial court found petitioner guilty of acts of lasciviousness and not of rape.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused is guilty of acts of lasciviousness and if so, whether or not he should be convicted for the said crime even though the information alleged against him is for rape?

Decision:

Yes. The trial court correctly convicted petitioner of acts of lasciviousness. Andrea told the court that petitioners penis was never inserted in her vagina, nor was there even a touching of her external organ by petitioners penis. There could, therefore, be no rape.

Andrea Ortega recounted the event while she was on witness stand and was given full credence by the trial court. The lewd design of petitioner is evident and, although the information filed was for the crime of rape, he can be convicted of acts of lasciviousness because the latter is necessarily included in rape.

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Marie Joan Tusi 2007-0276

Art. 337: Qualified Seduction


People v. Javier (G.R. No. 126096)
Facts:

Julia Ratunil Javier, a 16-year old girl, was raped three times by her father, Amado Sandrias Javier, one on October 20, 1994 and sometime on November, 1994 and December, 1994, which resulted to Julias pregnancy.

Three complaints were filed. The trial court found Amado guilty of the crime of incestuous rape in the first complaint and sentenced to death. Upon failure of the prosecution to prove the use of force by Amado in the second and third complaints, he was just convicted of qualified seduction.

Issue:

Whether or not the conviction for qualified seduction is proper in the complaint for the crime of rape?

Decision:

No. Assuming that the prosecution failed to prove the use of force by accused, the latter cannot be convicted of qualified seduction. It is only when the complaint for rape contains allegations for qualified seduction that the accused may be convicted of the latter in case the prosecution fails to prove the use of force by the accused (People vs. Antido, 278 SCRA 425 [1997]). To do otherwise would be violating the constitutional rights of the accused to due process and to be informed of the accusation against him. The accused charged with rape cannot be convicted of qualified seduction under the same information (People vs. Ramirez, 69 SCRA 144 [1976]). Then, too, rape and qualified seduction are not identical offenses. While the two felonies have one common element which is carnal knowledge of a woman, they significantly vary in all other respects (Gonzales vs. Court of Appeals, 232 SCRA 667 [1994]).

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What the trial court should have done was to dismiss the charges for rape in Criminal Cases No. 95-147 and 95-148, if indeed, in its opinion, the prosecution failed to sufficiently establish the existence of force and intimidation, and order instead the filing of the appropriate information. Be that as it may, this Court believes otherwise and is fully convinced that accused-appellant is guilty as well of these two other counts of rape.

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Marie Joan Tusi 2007-0276

People v. Manansala (G.R. Nos. 110974-81)


Facts:

Jennifer Manansala, a 14-year old girl, was raped eight times by her father, a 44-year old taho vendor, Rodante Manansala, on November of 1991.

On direct examination, Jennifer testified that she was raped eight times in the taho factory in Tondo, the workplace of her father. On cross examination, however, Jennifer changed her statement that the first rape incident was committed in the taho factory in Tondo but the rest of the seven rape incidents were committed in Tarlac. She also mentioned that her father gave her money every time they had sexual intercourse.

The trial court found Rodante Manansala guilty of having raped his daughter in Manila but dismissed those committed in Tarlac on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused is guilty of the crime of rape or quite possibly, the crime of qualified seduction, taking into account the inconsistencies of the victims statement?

Decision:

No. SC acquitted the accused, both on the crime of rape and qualified seduction. The inconsistencies on victims testimony for evidence cannot be dismissed as trivial. Trial courts must keep in mind that the prosecution must be able to overcome the constitutional presumption of innocence beyond a reasonable doubt to justify the conviction of the accused. The prosecution must stand or fall on its own evidence; it cannot draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. As SC has said:

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Rape is a very emotional word, and the natural human reactions to it are categorical: admiration and sympathy for the courageous female publicly seeking retribution for her outrageous violation, and condemnation of the rapist. However, being interpreters of the law and dispensers of justice, judges must look at a rape charge without those proclivities, and deal with it with extreme caution and circumspection. Judges must free themselves of the natural tendency to be overprotective of every woman decrying her having been sexually abused, and demanding punishment for the abuser. While they ought to be cognizant of the anguish and humiliation the rape victim goes through as she demands justice, judges should equally bear in mind that their responsibility is to render justice based on the law. The prosecutions evidence is not only shot through with inconsistencies and contradictions, it is also improbable. If complainant had been raped on November 1, 1991, the Court cannot understand why she went with her father to Tarlac on November 2 and stayed there with him until November 14, 1991. She was supposed to have gone through a harrowing experience at the hands of her father but the following day and for thirteen more days after that she stayed with him. It is true the medico-legal examination conducted on November 17, 1991 showed that she was no longer a virgin and that she had had recent sexual intercourse. But the fact that she had voluntarily gone with her father to Tarlac suggests that the crime was not rape but, quite possibly qualified seduction, considering the age of complainant (14 at the time of the crime). This is especially true because she said she had been given money by her father everytime they had an intercourse.

The fact that she could describe the lurid details of the sexual act shows that it was not an ordeal that she went through but a consensual act. One subjected to sexual torture can hardly be expected to see what was being done to her. What is clear from complainants testimony is that although accusedappellant had had sexual intercourse with her, it was not done by force or intimidation. Nor was the rape made possible because of accused-appellants moral ascendancy over her, for the fact is that accused-appellant was not living with them, having separated from complainants mother in 1986.

Considering the allegations in the complaint that the rape in this case was committed by means of force, violence and intimidation, accused-appellant
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cannot possibly be convicted of qualified seduction without offense to the constitutional rights of the accused to due process and to be informed of the accusation against him. That charge does not include qualified seduction. Neither can qualified seduction include rape.

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Marie Joan Tusi 2007-0276

People v. Alvarez (G.R. No. L-34644)


Facts:

On June 6, 1969, Loreta T. dela Concepcion, a 13-year old girl, was raped by her brother-in-law, Nicanor Alvarez.

Loreta narrated that the accused raped her in the presence of her sister (wife of the accused) while they were sleeping in the sala. Loreta resisted but she was not able to shout because she was allegedly weak and tired. She told the incident to her sister the following morning but the latter did not pay heed. She eventually got pregnant and a child was born.

An Information was filed. The trial court found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused is guilty of rape or quite possibly, of the crime of qualified seduction?

Decision:

SC acquitted the accused for the crime of rape but charged him of the crime of qualified seduction, the elements of which were included in the facts alleged in the Information.

Viewed from human observation and experience not even a confirmed sex maniac would dare do his thing before the eyes of strangers, how much more for a healthy husband before the eyes of his very wife? Then, again, testimony that her sister before whose very eyes the alleged raping incident took place did not lift a finger to her, mocks at human sensibility. In the natural course of things, this piece of evidence is repugnant to common experience and observation in that the natural reaction wife would be that of righteous indignation rather than passive [acquiescence] and the natural response of a sister would be to protect the virtue of a younger sister from abuse of her husband.
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Our criminal law is not susceptible to such a reproach, it being clear from the information that the elements of the crime of qualified seduction were included in the facts alleged. He cannot be heard to complain thereafter that he is entitled to complete acquittal. As a matter of fact, in his defense, rightfully given credence by us, he did admit his having taken advantage of an inexperienced adolescent, the younger sister of his wife, to whom he ought to have been bound by the closest ties of affinity, considering also, as testified to by him, how close she felt towards him. In the case of People v. Fontanilla, it is said that when the offender is a public officer, a priest or minister, a servant, domestic, tutor, teacher, or under any title is in charge of the education or keeping of the offended woman, as in the present case, the act is punishable although fraud or deceit may not have been used or, if employed, has not been proved. The seduction of a virgin over twelve and under eighteen years of age, committed by any of the persons enumerated in art. 337 is constitutive of the crime of qualified seduction, even though no deceit intervenes or even when such carnal knowledge were voluntary on the part of the virgin, because in such a case, the law takes for granted the existence of the deceit as an integral element of the said crime and punishes it with greater severity than it does the simple seduction, taking into account the abuse of confidence on the part of the agent (culprit), an abuse of confidence which implies deceit or fraud.

As early as 1908, in the leading case of United States v. Arlante, the penalty for qualified seduction was rightfully visited on an accused whose conduct was similar to the appellant. The facts, as set forth in the very able opinion of no less than Chief Justice Arellano, reads as follows: "That the accused had carnally abused two orphan girls, relatives of his wife, who were sheltered in his house; that they respectively gave birth to a boy and a girl, one of them on the 5th of November, 1905, this being the one who files the complaint for seduction, and the other on the 15th of October of the same year, the latter appearing in the case as a witness for the prosecution x x x x And even though the accused were not, as a matter of fact, in charge of the keeping of the offended girl, it is beyond doubt that, as she was a domestic, the crime is included within paragraph 1 of said article. 'Upon the word domestic being employed in said legal provision segregating it from that of a servant, the term is applied to persons usually living under the same roof, pertaining to the same house, and constituting, in this sense, a part thereof, distinguishing it from the
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term servant whereby a person serving another on a salary is designated; in this manner, it has been properly used."

Nothing remains to be added except that in a situation like the present, where, in keeping with Filipino mores, a younger sister is called upon to be of help to those ahead of her and to stay, even if intermittently, in the latter's house, especially so after marital ties are formed and children born, may give rise to situations of this character considering that among the poorer elements of our society, all the members of a family are huddled together within briefest confines, and insistence on personal modesty and privacy is practically out of the question. If the ascendancy of a brother-in-law, instead, were used for moral purposes, then, certainly, there is more than a justification for adherence to the view first announce in the landmark Arlante decision that thereby the offense qualified seduction was in fact committed.

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Katherine Yarte 2011-0296

Art. 342: Forcible Abduction


People vs. Egan (GR No. 139338)
Facts:

Lito Egan, alias Akiao, 36 years old, a Manobo was an avid admirer of a fellow Manobo, Lenie Camad, 12 years old. Both are residents of Sitio Salaysay, Marilog, Davao City.

On 6 January 1997, the accused appeared from nowhere and forcibly dragged and pushed Lenie towards Sition Dalag, Arakan, Cotabato. He threatened Lenie that he would kill her should the latter resisted.

Jessica, the cousin of Lenie, who witnessed the abduction, informed Palmones Camad, the father of Lenie regarding the incident.

For four (4) months, the datus attempted a customary settlement of the abduction in accordance with Manobo traditions. In exchange of the hand of Lenie in marriage, the accused agreed to give 2 horses to the family of Lenie. When the accused failed to fulfill his promise, the father demanded the unconditional return of his daughter to his custody.

Since the amicable settlement was not realized, Akiao forcibly relocated Lenie to Cabalantian, Kataotao, Bukidnon, where the latter was successfully rescued on 15 May 1997.

An Information for Forcible Abduction with Rape was filed against the accused. After several warrants of arrest and attempts to arrest him, he was finally arrested at Arakan, Cotabato.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. During the trial, accused tried to prove that he and Lenie had actually been living together under Manobo rites in the house of her father after he has given the family, the dowry. The accused allegedly delivered the horse to the father, but was again refused when the

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latter increased the number of horses from one to two. The accused concluded that because he failed to deliver two wild horses, the instant case was filed against him.

The trial court rejected the defenses of the accused and convicted him of forcible abduction with rape. The accused appealed the decision of the trial court.

Issue:

Between the accused and the victim, whose version is more credible, more plausible and more trustworthy considering the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime charged?

Decision:

All the elements of forcible abduction were proved in this case. The victim who is a young girl was taken against her will as shown by the fact that at knifepoint, she was dragged and taken by accused-appellant to a place far from her abode. At her tender age, she could not be expected to physically resist considering the fact that even her companion, Jessica, had to run home to escape accusedappellants wrath as he brandished a haunting knife.

The evidence likewise shows that the taking of the young victim against her will was done con miras deshonestas or in furtherance of lewd and unchaste designs. The word lewd is defined as obscene, lustful, indecent, lascivious, lecherous. It signifies that form of immorality which has relation to moral impurity; or that which is carried on in a wanton manner. Such lewd designs were established by the prurient and lustful acts which accused-appellant displayed towards the victim after she was abducted. This element may also be inferred from the fact that while Lenie was then a naive twelve (12)-year old, accused-appellant was thirty-six (36) years old and although unmarried was much wiser in the ways of the world than she

Given the straightforward and candid testimony of Lenie and her father Palmones as well as the absence of any motive to testify falsely against accusedappellant, the logical conclusion is that there was no improper motive on their part, and their respective testimonies as to facts proving forcible abduction are worthy of full faith and credit

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Accused-appellant would however insist that he and Lenie had been engaged under Manobo rituals to marry each other and that her companionship was willful and voluntary. Proof of this, he said, was the alleged dowry of one (1) horse, two (2) pigs, ten (10) sacks of palay, and P2,000.00, with two (2) wild horses forthcoming, he had given her father in exchange for her hand in marriage. In moving from one place to another to look for the horses which the old man Palmones had demanded, it was allegedly only his intention to realize his matrimonial aspiration with Lenie. The testimony of the victim negated this contrived posture of accusedappellant which in reality is simply a variation of the sweetheart defense. If they were, surely, Lenie would not have jeopardized their relationship by accusing him of having held her against her will and molesting her and, on top of it all, by filing a criminal charge against him. If it had been so, Lenie could have easily told her father after the latter had successfully traced their whereabouts that nothing untoward had happened between her and the accused. Her normal reaction would have been to cover-up for the man she supposedly loved and with whom she had a passionate affair. But, on the contrary, Lenie lost no time in denouncing accused-appellant and exposing to her family and the authorities the disgrace that had befallen her. If they had indeed been lovers, Lenie's father would not have shown so much concern for her welfare and safety by searching for the couple for four (4) months, desperately wanting to rescue her from captivity and seeking the intervention of the datus in resolving the matter. Under the circumstances, the criminal liability of accused-appellant is only for forcible abduction under Art. 342 of The Revised Penal Code. The sexual abuse which accused-appellant forced upon Lenie constitutes the lewd design inherent in forcible abduction and is thus absorbed therein. The indecent molestation cannot form the other half of a complex crime since the record does not show that the principal purpose of the accused was to commit any of the crimes against chastity and that her abduction would only be a necessary means to commit the same. Surely it would not have been the case that accused-appellant would touch Lenie only once during her four (4)-month captivity, as she herself admitted, if his chief or primordial intention had been to lay with her. Instead, what we discern from the evidence is that the intent to seduce the girl forms part and parcel of her forcible abduction and shares equal importance with the other element of the crime which was to remove the victim from her home or from whatever familiar place she may be and to take her to some other. Stated otherwise, the intention of

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accused-appellant as the evidence shows was not only to seduce the victim but also to separate her from her family, especially from her father Palmones, clearly tell-tale signs of forcible abduction

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Katherine Yarte 2011-0296

People vs. Ablaneda (G.R. No. 131914)


Facts: On or about 7:00 oclock in the morning of February 18, 1993 at Barangay Camambugan, Municipality of Daet, province of Camarines Norte and within the j the accused-appellant Jaime Ablaneda, also known as Joey Capistrano with lewd design did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, abduct one Magdalena Salas, a minor, 7 years old by bringing her to a small hut in a grassy place and while thereat, said accused, unlawfully, feloniously, and criminally, did then and there have carnal knowledge of said Magdalena Salas against her will to her damage and prejudice. At the arraignment, accused-appellant pleaded not guilty. After trial, the lower court found the the accused GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the complex crime of forcible abduction with rape

Issue:

Whether there was sufficient evidence to sustain the conviction of the accused?

Decision:

The elements of the crime of forcible abduction, as defined in Article 342 of the Revised Penal Code, are: (1) that the person abducted is any woman, regardless of her age, civil status, or reputation; (2) that she is taken against her will; and (3) that the abduction is with lewd designs. On the other hand, rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman by force or intimidation, or when the woman is deprived of reason or is unconscious, or when she is under twelve years of age.

All these elements were proven in this case. The victim, who is a woman, was taken against her will, as shown by the fact that she was intentionally directed by accused-appellant to a vacant hut. At her tender age, Magdalena could not be expected to physically resist considering that the lewd designs of
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accused-appellant could not have been apparent to her at that time. Physical resistance need not be demonstrated to show that the taking was against her will. The employment of deception suffices to constitute the forcible taking, especially since the victim is an unsuspecting young girl. Considering that it was raining, going to the hut was not unusual to Magdalena, as probably the purpose was to seek shelter. Barrio girls are particularly prone to deception. It is the taking advantage of their innocence that makes them easy culprits of deceiving minds. Finally, the evidence shows that the taking of the young victim against her will was effected in furtherance of lewd and unchaste designs. Such lewd designs in forcible abduction is established by the actual rape of the victim In the case at bar, Magdalena testified in open court that accused-appellant inserted his penis into her private parts. The fact of sexual intercourse is corroborated by the medical findings wherein it was found that the victim suffered from complete hymenal laceration. Whether or not she consented to the sexual contact is immaterial considering that at the time thereof, she was below twelve years of age. Sex with a girl below twelve years, regardless of whether she consented thereto or not, constitutes statutory rape.

The findings of facts of the trial court, when supported by evidence on record, are binding on this Court. No significant facts or circumstances were shown to have been overlooked or disregarded which, if considered, might substantially affect the outcome of this case. Consequently, the trial courts conclusions and assessments on the credibility of witness must be accorded respect on appeal The imposition of the penalty of reclusion perpetua, for the crime of forcible abduction with rape committed in 1993, was correct. No qualifying or aggravating circumstance was proven in this case and there was none alleged in the information.

However, the trial court erred in failing to award civil indemnity to the victim. Whenever the crime of rape is committed, a civil indemnity is awarded to the victim without necessity of proof or pleading, and the same is automatically granted together with moral damages, generally in the amount of P50,000.00 each. In this connection, the prayer of the Solicitor General that the civil indemnity be increased to P75,000.00 cannot be granted, the same being contrary to jurisprudence In cases where the death penalty cannot be imposed, the civil indemnity is reduced from P75,000.00 to P50,000.00

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Katherine Yarte 2011-0296

People vs. Sabrado (G.R. No. 126114)


Facts: Appellant is the uncle of Judeliza, the complainant. He is the younger brother of her father.

Judeliza went to the well near their house, to take a bath. There, Jimmy grabbed and forcibly dragged her at knife's point, to the highway where he made her board a truck for Bogo, Cebu. Impelled by fear, she complied, since Jimmy continuously poked a knife under cover of his jacket at her. From Bogo, he took her by passenger motorboat to Placer, Masbate. Thence he brought her to Estampar, Cataingan, Masbate, where they stayed at the house of Conchita Tipnit, Jimmy's sister and Judeliza's aunt. Though aunt and niece did not know each other. In Estampar, Judeliza tried to escape but was caught by Jimmy, who severely mauled her until she lost consciousness

On July 4, 1994, at around midnight, Jimmy, armed with a blade, sexually assaulted Judeliza. He covered her mouth to prevent her from shouting. After satisfying his lust, Jimmy inserted three fingers into her vaginal orifice and cruelly pinched it. Judeliza screamed and cried for help. Their host, Roberto, was awakened but could not do anything to assist her. Later, Jimmy struck Judeliza with a piece of wood, rendering her unconscious. Much later, he brought her to the house of his sister, Nilda Polloso, also at Cagba.

Nilda noticed the victim's weak and wan condition and offered her medicine. Nilda brought her to the police where Judeliza reported her ordeal.

After the initial police investigation, Judeliza was brought to Masbate Provincial Hospital, where she was confined for four days. The medico-legal officer examined her.

An information for forcible abduction with rape was filed. The accused pleaded not guilty. During the trial, accused admitted having sexual relations with Judeliza, but insisted that it was consensual. He claimed that they were lovers and had been engaging in sexual intimacies for three months before running away. He explained that they had gone to Masbate after Judeliza had
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revealed to him that she was not really her father's daughter. They then lived together as husband and wife. He admitted having boxed and kicked her but claimed that he got mad at her after she confided that she really was his niece, contrary to what she earlier told him. He likewise admitted having pinched the victim's vagina, but only to punish her for deceiving him about their kinship. He claimed the instant case was filed against him because of the maltreatment she received. Pedsc The trial court found appellant's version of the incident preposterous and his defense untenable. |The trial Court found the accused guilty beyond

reasonable doubt of the complex crime of forcible abduction with rape under Article 48 in relation to Article[s] 335 and 342 of the Revised Penal Code and is meted the extreme penalty of death.

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court gravely err in its evaluation of the honesty of private complainant, in effect giving full weight and credence to the evidence of the prosecution than that of the defense?

Whether or not the trial court gravely err in finding the accused appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged?

Decision:

There is no no reason to overturn the trial court's detailed evaluation of the evidence for both the prosecution and the defense. Complainant Judeliza's testimony was given in a straightforward, clear, and convincing manner, which remained consistent even under cross-examination. The trial court found her testimony believable and convincing, while appellant's version of events incredible and outrageous. Moreover, as testified by the medico-legal officer, he found that her body bore evidences of physical and sexual assault. Appellant's bare denial could not prevail over said positive evidence

Appellant next insists that the intercourse between him and Judeliza was consensual, since they were sweethearts. A "sweetheart defense" should be substantiated by some documentary and/or other evidence of the relationship .In this case, there is no showing of mementos, love letters, notes, pictures, or any concrete
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proof of a romantic nature. Besides, as observed by the trial judge, it is contrary to human experience that a naive rural lass like Judeliza, barely nineteen years old, would willingly consent to be her uncle's paramour. Nor, would he if he were indeed her sweetheart maltreat her repeatedly for no justifiable cause, without over-straining our credulity

The elements of forcible abduction are: (1) that the person abducted is any woman, regardless of age, civil status, or reputation; (2) that the abduction is against her will; and (3) that the abduction is with lewd designs. The prosecution's evidence clearly shows that the victim was forcibly taken at knifepoint from Borbon, Cebu by appellant and through threats and intimidation brought to various towns in Masbate, where he passed her off as his "wife". That appellant was moved by lewd designs was shown in regard to rape by his having carnal knowledge of private complainant, against her will, on July 4, 1994 at Cagba, Tugbo, Masbate. While it may appear at first blush that forcible abduction, as defined and penalized by Article 342 of the Revised Penal Code was also committed, we are not totally disposed to convict appellant for the complex crime of forcible abduction with rape. When a complex crime under Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code is charged, such as forcible abduction with rape, it is axiomatic that the prosecution must allege and prove the presence of all the elements of forcible abduction, as well as all the elements of the crime of rape. When appellant, using a blade, forcibly took away complainant for the purpose of sexually assaulting her, as in fact he did rape her, the rape may then absorb forcible abduction. Hence, the crime committed by appellant is simple rape only.

The imposable penalty for rape under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No. 7659, is reclusion perpetua. But where the rape is committed with the use of deadly weapon or by two or more persons, the imposable penalty ranges from reclusion perpetua to death. The use of the bladed weapon already qualified the rape. Under Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code, the crucial factor in determining whether appellant should be meted the death penalty is the presence of an aggravating circumstance which attended the commission of the crime. A perusal of the record shows that none of the aggravating circumstances enumerated in Article 14 of the Revised Penal Code was alleged and proven by the prosecution. Where there is no aggravating circumstance proved in the commission of the offense, the lesser penalty shall be applied.
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In sentencing appellant to death, the trial court noted that the victim was his niece, a relative by consanguinity within the third civil degree. Section 11 (1) of R.A. No. 7659 imposes the death penalty when the rape victim is under 18 years of age and the offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the commonlaw spouse of the parent of the victim. However, R.A. No. 7659 cannot be made to apply in the instant case for two reasons: First, at the time the rape was committed, private complainant was already more than eighteen years of age. Second, the information did not allege that offender and offended party were relatives within the third degree of consanguinity. We have held that the seven circumstances in R.A. No. 7659 which warrant the automatic imposition of the death penalty partake of the nature of qualifying circumstances and as such should be alleged in the information to be appreciated as such. In view of the failure of the information to comply with this requirement, said degree of relation could not be taken into account in considering the penalty to be imposed. For these reasons, the sentence on appellant should only be reclusion perpetua

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Jm Sandino Imperial 2007-0297

Art. 349: Bigamy


Diego v. Castillo
Facts:

An administrative complaint was filed against Regional Trial Court Judge Silverio Q. Castillo for allegedly knowingly rendering an unjust judgment in a criminal case and/or rendering judgment in gross ignorance of the law.

Said Administrative complaint stemmed from the Judgment of the aforementioned Judge in the Bigamy case filed against Lucena Escoto by Jorge de Perio, Jr.

Prior that filing of the case, the Family District Court of Texas granted a decree of Divorce on Lucena Escoto and Jorge de Perio, Jr.

Later on, Lucena Escoto (Cresencia Escoto, her adopted name) contracted marriage with the brother of the complainant, Manuel P. Diego. After trial of the case of bigamy, respondent Judge acquitted the accused and stated that his main basis was the good faith on the part of the accused.

Issue:

Whether or not Judge Castillo should be administratively held liable for knowingly rendering an unjust judgment and for gross ignorance of the law?

Decision:

No, the court applied the case of Guillermo vs. Reyes, Jr. which explained that: a judge may not be held administratively accountable for every erroneous order or decision he renders. The error must be gross or patent, malicious, deliberate or in evident bad faith. It is only in this latter instance, when the judge acts fraudulently or with gross ignorance that administrative sanctions are called for as an imperative duty of this Court.

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Jm Sandino Imperial 2007-0297

Abunado v. People
Facts:

Salvador Abunado married Narcisa Arceno on September 18, 1967. Salvador later contracted a second marriage with Zenaida Binas. On May 18, 1995, a case for bigamy was filed by Narcisa against Salvador and Zenaida.

On May 18, 2001, the Trial Court of San Mateo Rizal convicted Salvador of the crime of bigamy.

On Appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed with modification the ruling of the trial court appreciating the mitigating circumstance that the accuse s seventy six years of age then.

Salvador avers that the information filed against him was defective as it stated that the alleged bigamous marriage was contracted in 1995 when in fact it should have been 1989.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner has been sufficiently informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him?

Decision:

No, the statement in the information that the crime was committed in January 1995 was an obvious typographical error, for the same information clearly states that petitioner contracted a subsequent marriage to Zenaida Abunado on January 10, 1989. Also, petitioner failed to object to the alleged defect in the Information during the trial and only raised the same for the first time on appeal before the Court of Appeals.

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Jm Sandino Imperial 2007-0297

Cacho v. People
Facts:

Lucio Morigo and Lucia Barrete married on August 30, 1990.

On August 19, 1991, a decree of divorce by Ontario Court was granted unto them.

On October 4, 2992, Lucio Morigo married Maria Jececha Lumbago.

On September 321, 1993, accused filed a complaint for judicail declaration of nullity of marriage in the trial court of Bohol, on the ground that no marriage ceremony actually took place.

On October 19, 1993, appelant was charged with bigamy filed by the City Prosecutor of Tagbilaran, with the Regional Trial Court of Bohol.

On August 5, 1996, the Regional Trial Court of Bohol convicted Lucio Morigo of the crime of bigamy.

Petitioner filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals and the same affirmed the decision of the trial court.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner committed bigamy?

Decision:

No, the first element of bigamy as a crime requires that the accused must have been legally married.

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The existence and the validity of the first marriage being an essential element of the crime of bigamy, it is but logical that a conviction for said offense cannot be sustained where there is no first marriage to speak of.

No marriage ceremony at all was performed by a duly authorized solemnizing officer. Petitioner and Lucia Barrete merely signed a marriage contract on their own.

Under the aforementioned circumstance, the Court held that petitioner has not committed bigamy.

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Alvin Ocampo 2011-0386

Title 13: Crimes against Honor


Art. 353: Libel
Fermin v. People (G.R. No. 157643)
Facts:

This is a case for Libel filed by a showbiz couple namely, Annabelle Rama Gutierrez and Eduardo (Eddie) Gutierrez against Cristinelli S. Fermin and Bogs C Tugas before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, Brach 218. The two (2) criminal informations uniformly read, as follows: That on or about the 14th day of June, 1995 in Quezon City, Philippines, the above-named accused CRISTENELLI

SALAZAR FERMIN, publisher, and BOGS C. TUGAS, Editor-in-Chief of Gossip Tabloid with offices located at 68-A Magnolia Tulip St., Roxas District, Quezon City, and circulated in Quezon City and other parts of Metro Manila and the whole country, conspiring together, confederating with and mutually helping each other, publicly and acting with malice, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously print and circulate in the headline and lead story of the said GOSSIP TABLOID issue of June 14, 1995 the following material, to wit:

MAS

MALAKING

HALAGA

ANG

NADISPALKO NILA SA STATES, MAY MGA NAIWAN DING ASUNTO DOON SI

ANNABELLE

IMPOSIBLENG NASA AMERIKA NGAYON SI ANNABELLE DAHIL SA KALAT DIN ANG ASUNTO NILA DUN, BUKOD PA SA

NAPAKARAMING PINOY NA HUMAHANTING SA KANILA MAS MALAKING PROBLEMA


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ANG KAILANGAN NIYANG HARAPIN SA STATES DAHIL SA PERANG NADISPALKO NILA, NAGHAHANAP LANG NG SAKIT NG KATAWAN SI ANNABELLE KUNG SA

STATES NGA NIYA MAIISIPANG PUMUNTA NGAYON PARA LANG TAKASAN NIYA SI LIGAYA SANTOS AT ANG SINTENSIYA SA KANYA

when in truth and in fact, the accused very well knew that the same are entirely false and untrue but were publicly made for no other purpose than to expose said ANNABELLE RAMA GUTIERREZ to humiliation and disgrace, as it depicts her to be a fugitive from justice and a swindler, thereby causing dishonor, discredit and contempt upon the person of the offended party, to the damage and prejudice of the said ANNABELLE RAMA GUTIERREZ. CONTRARY TO LAW

Upon arraignment, petitioner and co-accused Bogs C. Tugas both pleaded not guilty.

After trial on the merits, the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 218, in its Joint Decisions dated January 27, 1997, found petitioner and Tugas guilty of libel.

Petitioner and Tugas appealed to the CA. The appellate court, in its Decision dated September 3, 2002, affirmed the conviction of petitioner, but acquitted Tugas on account of non-participation in the publication of the libelous article.

The CA denied petitioners motion for reconsideration for lack of merit in the Resolution dated March 24, 2003. Hence, this petition.

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Issues:

Whether or not Tugas and Fermin can be held liable for liable?

Decision: The Supreme Court noted that, in the first issue, the CA erred in acquitting Tugas. It said that Tugas cannot feign lack of participation in the publication of the questioned article as was evident from his and petitioners Joint Counter-Affidavit and as gleaned from his testimony before the trial court, to wit: WITNESS: As editor-in-chief, I have no participation

in the writing of the questioned article and my only participation in the publication is the handling of the physical lay-outing, indication and allocation of typesize of the body of the article, before the same was printed and published in GOSSIP Tabloid

Q:

You do not deny the statements in this publication as executed by you in the counteraffidavit and sworn in before the City

Prosecutor, is this correct? A: Yes, that is correct.

ATTY. ALENTAJAN:

That is all for the witness, your Honor.

COURT:

Do we get it right from you, if you were acting as you were, you will not allow the said publication of this same article or same stories?

A:

If I were, if I was physically present, honestly I will because if you can see the article, your Honor, it is according to our source, it is not a direct comment.

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COURT:

So whether you are there or not, [the] same article leading to them (sic) will still find its way to come out?

A:

Yes, your honor.

In U.S. v. Taylor, the accused was indicted under Section 6 of Act No. 277 which provides that: Every author, editor or proprietor of any book, newspaper, or serial publication is chargeable with the publication of any words contained in any part of said book or number of each newspaper or serial as fully as if he were the author of the same. However, proof adduced during the trial showed that accused was the manager of the publication without the corresponding evidence that, as such, he was directly responsible for the writing, editing, or publishing of the matter contained in the said libelous article. In People v. Topacio and Santiago, reference was made to the Spanish text of Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code which includes the verb publicar. Thus, it was held that Article 360 includes not only the author or the person who causes the libelous matter to be published, but also the person who prints or publishes it. Based on these cases, therefore, proof of knowledge of and participation in the publication of the offending article is not required, if the accused has been specifically identified as author, editor, or proprietor or printer/publisher of the publication, as petitioner and Tugas are in this case. Tugas testimony, in fact, confirms his actual participation in the preparation and publication of the controversial article and his approval thereof as it was written. Moreover, his alibi, which was considered meritorious by the CA, that he was confined at the Mother of Perpetual Help Clinic in Angeles City, is unavailing, in view of the testimony of his attending physician that Tugas medical condition did not prevent him from performing his work. However, the Supreme Court cannot reverse the findings of acquittal by the appellate court in view of the principle of double jeopardy. As the wordings of the Supreme Court, But, of course, we cannot reinstate the ruling of the trial court convicting Bogs Tugas because with his acquittal by the CA, we would run afoul of his constitutional right against double jeopardy.

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As regards to the second issue, petitioner Fermin argues that the subject article in the June 14, 1995 issue of Gossip Tabloid is not libelous, is covered by the mantle of press freedom, and is merely in the nature of a fair and honest comment. The Supreme Court disagrees on her arguments by analyzing the libelous articles, to wit: The banner headlines of the offending article read: KUNG TOTOONG NAKATAKAS NA SI ANNABELLE RAMA, IMPOSIBLENG SA STATES SIYA

NAGPUNTA!

MAS MALAKING HALAGA ANG NADISPALKO NILA SA STATES, MAY MGA NAIWAN DING ASUNTO DUN SI ANNABELLE! On the first page of the same issue of Gossip Tabloid, written in smaller but bold letters, are: HINDI SIYA MAKAKAPUNTA SA AMERIKA DAHIL NAPAKARAMI RIN NIYANG ASUNTONG INIWAN DUN NOON PA, NAKAPAG-ABROAD MAN SIYA, E, PIHADONG HINDI SIYA SA AMERIKA NAGTULOY, SA AMERIKA PA KAYA SIYA MAGTATAGO, E, ILANG TAON NA RIN SIYANG INAABANGAN DUN NG NGA KABABAYAN NATING NILOKO NIYA, IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER?... NAAALALA PA BA NINYO YUNG MGA MAMAHALING KALDERO NA IBINEBENTA NILA NOON SA AMERIKA, DUN SILA NAGKAPROBLEMA, SA PILIPINAS NOON. MILYON-MILYON ANG

INVOLVED, KAYA KINAILANGAN NILANG UMUWI

A libel is defined as a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary; or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead. In determining whether the statement is defamatory, the words used are to be construed in their
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entirety and should be taken in their plain and ordinary meaning as they would naturally be understood by persons reading them, unless it appears that they were used and understood in another sense. To say that the article, in its entirety, is not libelous disturbs ones sensibilities; it would certainly prick ones conscience. There is evident imputation of the crime of malversation (that the complainants converted for their personal use the money paid to them by fellow Filipinos in America in their business of distributing high-end cookware); of vices or defects for being fugitives from the law (that complainants and their family returned to the Philippines to evade prosecution in America); and of being a wastrel (that Annabelle Rama Gutierrez lost the earnings from their business through irresponsible gambling in casinos). The attribution was made publicly, considering that Gossip Tabloid had a nationwide circulation. The victims were identified and identifiable. More importantly, the article reeks of malice, as it tends to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of the complainants. Neither can petitioner take refuge in the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and of the press. Although a wide latitude is given to critical utterances made against public officials in the performance of their official duties, or against public figures on matters of public interest, such criticism does not automatically fall within the ambit of constitutionally protected speech. If the utterances are false, malicious or unrelated to a public officers performance of his duties or irrelevant to matters of public interest involving public figures, the same may give rise to criminal and civil liability. While complainants are considered public figures for being personalities in the entertainment business, media people, including gossip and intrigue writers and commentators such as petitioner, do not have the unbridled license to malign their honor and dignity by indiscriminately airing fabricated and malicious comments, whether in broadcast media or in print, about their personal lives.

Thus, the Supreme Court held that the conviction of petitioner Fermin for libel should be upheld.

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Alvin Ocampo 2011-0386

Magno v. People (G.R. No. 133896)


Facts:

This is a case for Libel committed by Dolores Magno on various occasions against Cerelito T. Alejandro, the formers neighbor for almost 20 years at PucayVillage, Marcos Highway, Baguio City.

The antecedent facts are as follows:

In the afternoon of March 2, 1991, Cerelito, while at the upper portion of his house, saw Dolores write on the wall at the back of her garage the following words: 'Huag Burahin Bawal Dumaan Dito ang Maniac at Magnanakaw ng Aso katulad ni Cere Lito O. Cedring.

Feeling that he was the 'Cere', 'Lito or 'Cedring being alluded to, Cerelito reported the matter to the local police and filed an affidavitcomplaint with the Fiscal's Office.

Subsequently, or on March 9, 1991, at around 4:00 p.m., Rodelito, Cerelito's 16-year old son, while on his way to buy bread at a nearby store, saw Dolores writing something on her garage's extension wall with the use of a paint brush and red paint. In full, the writing reads: "HUAG BURAHIN BAWAL DUMAAN ANG SUSPETSOSA BASTOS AT

MAKAPAL NA MUKHA DITO LALO NA SA MANIAC AT MAGNANAKAW NG ASO KATULAD NI CERELITO." After reading what was thus written, Rodelito proceeded with his errand and, upon reaching home, related what he saw to his father.

Again, feeling that he was the maniac and dog thief being referred to, Cerelito lost no time in filing a complaint with the Baguio City Police (BCP). Pictures were then taken of the aforesaid writing on the wall. Eventually, the Office of the City Prosecutor in Baguio, finding, following an investigation, probable cause for libel against Dolores, filed the corresponding information giving rise to Criminal Case No. 8804-R.
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Evidently apprised by the police of the complaint thus filed by Cerelito, Dolores, in the morning of March 15, 1991, went to the BCP sub-station to deliver her 3-page letter-answer written in yellow pad and addressed to the station subcommander.

At around 12:20 p.m. of the same day, March 15, 1991, Dolores handed to and instructed Evelyn Arcartado, Cerelito's sister, to deliver an unsealed white, long, ordinary envelope to Fe Alejandro, Cerelito's wife.Since Fe was out of the house at that time, Evelyn gave the unsealed envelope to Cerelito, who immediately read the three (3) separate letters contained in the envelope. Evelyn followed suit afterwards. Fe read the contents of the envelope upon reaching home late in the afternoon of March 15, 1991.

The first letter, unsigned and undated and written on yellow pad, was addressed to spouses Cerelito and Fe Alejandro. Quoted, in part, in the information in Criminal Case No. 8806-R, this unsigned letter reads: If your husband can't show any proof of his makating dila then comply & if your husband can't understand this simple English dahil mangmang, dayukdok na galing sa isang kahig isang tukang pamilya at walang pinagaralan, illiterate, mal educado kaya bastos eh huag na niya kaming idamay sa kaniyang katangahan na alam na trabaho eh humawak ng grasa sa Saudi.Kaya iyong pambabastos mo at pagdudumi niya sa pangalan naming at higit pa siyang marumi at putang ina rin niya.Galing siya sa p ng baboy at hindi sa p ng tao.Huag niyang ikumpara ang pinangalingan niya sa pinangalingan namin.Siya ang magnanakaw at

mandaraya.Malinaw na ibidensiya iyan kinalagyan ng hagdan ninyo, di ba lampas kayo sa lote ninyo.Pinalakad ninyo ang mojon para lumaki ang lote ninyo.Bago kayo magsalita mambintang ng kapitbahay ninyo, tignan ninyo muna ang sarili ninyo. Mas mukha pang magnanakaw ang asawa mo para malinaw.

The second letter is a photo-copy of the first, but with the following addendum written in ink at the back page thereof which reads:
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Ang tibay mo rin naman Mrs. Alejandro, makapal pa ang mukha mo at ikaw pa ang magpapablotter sa akin para pagtakpan mo ang maniac mong asawa. Kailan mo masasabi na pumasok sa bakuran mo para mamirhuesyo sa inyo. Tanga. The third letter, a photocopy of Dolores signed letter dated March 15, 1991, to the Sub-Station 5 Commander of BCP purportedly in reply to the statement given by Fe Alejandro to the police station on March 3, 1991, reads, in part, as follows:

The Sub Station Commander Sub-Station 5 Marcos Highway, B.C.

Dear sir:

cralawxxxxxxxxx

Allow me then to explain to you . . . why I call Mr. Alejandro a maniac.Pumasok siya sa lote ko sa garahe na naging shelter (temporary) namin ng pamilya ko pagkatapos ng lindol (3 weeks after) ng hatinggabi-lasing na lasing nakapaa, bukas ang zipper ng pantaloon nakayapak na walang sapin sa paa.Tulog na kami.We were awakened by the constant barking of my dogs.I have 3 native dogs but 1 was slaughtered by Mr. Cerelito Alejandro '.He is even a dognapper. My Manang Louie can relate the incident since we were out of the country x x x.I don't trust him as my kapitbahay na bantay salakay.In simple tagalog

magnanakaw ng aso para may malamon dahil takaw na takaw at walang maibili.

It is upon the foregoing factual backdrop that Dolores was charged with libel under four (4) separate informations filed with the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City, docketed as Criminal Cases No. 8803-R, 8804-R, 8805-R and 8806-R and raffled to Branch 6 of the court.
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Upon arraignment, Dolores, as accused, entered a plea of Not Guilty to each of the offenses charges in the four informations aforecited. Following a joint trial, the trial court rendered judgment on September 23, 1993, finding her guilty of libel in both Criminal Cases Nos. 8804-R and 8806-R and sentencing her to suffer imprisonment and ordering her to indemnify the offended party a certain sum as moral damages. In Criminal Cases Nos. 8803-R and 8805-R, however, she was acquitted.

On Appeal, the appellate court affirmed in toto the judgment of conviction of the RTC. The appellate court likewise denied the motion for reconsideration of Dolores Magno for lack of merit.

Hence, this petition for review.

Issue:

Whether Magno could be held liable for libel?

Decision:

The Supreme Court held that to be liable for libel under Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code, the following elements must be shown to exist: (a) the allegation of a discreditable act or condition concerning another; (b) publication of the charge; (c) identity of the person defamed; and (d) existence of malice.

There can be no quibbling about the defamatory nature of the written imputation or allegations hurled against Cerelito. And the derogatory writings were obviously made out of ill-will or revenge.The issue of defamation, malice or the identity of the person defamed is not even raised in this recourse.

As earlier recited, the information in Criminal Case No. 8806-R arose out of what Dolores wrote about the spouses Cerelito and Fe Alejandro contained in an unsealed envelope and delivered, through Evelyn Arcartado, on March 15, 1991. Dolores contends that, from the time Evelyn was physically handed the unsealed envelope to the time the
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latter turned it over to Cerelito, no one opened or read the offending letter contained therein. Prescinding therefrom, Dolores argues against the existence of libel, citing, for the purpose, American jurisprudence holding that "where libelous matter is communicated only to a person defamed and he voluntarily discloses the contents of the libelous communication to others, the originator of the libel is not responsible for the

publication."Dolores argues that since the obnoxious letter was addressed to spouses Cerelito and Fe Alejandro, Fe was, insofar as Cerelito is concerned, not a third person for purposes of publication. She further declares that to call the husband (Cerelito) a thief in connection with a charge that he and his wife had stolen goods, is not to speak words of defamation of him alone so as to make the utterance in the presence of his wife a publication.

Publication, in the law of libel, means the making of the defamatory matter, after it has been written, known to someone other than the person to whom it has been written. If the statement is sent straight to a person for whom it is written there is no publication of it. The reason for this is that 'a communication of the defamatory matter to the person defamed cannot injure his reputation though it may wound his self-esteem. A man's reputation is not the good opinion he has of himself, but the estimation in which others hold him.

In People vs. Silvela, the Court ruled that sending an unsealed libelous letter to the offended party constitutes publication. In the present case, there is no dispute that the unsealed envelope containing the libelous letter was handed by Dolores to Evelyn Arcartado. Contextually, there was a reasonable probability that the contents of the unsealed envelope, particularly the libelous letter, could have been exposed to be read by Evelyn before delivering the same to Cerelito. However, Evelyn categorically admitted not reading the letter at the first instance, reading it only after securing Cerelito's permission.

Writing to a person other than the person defamed is sufficient to constitute publication, for the person to whom the letter is addressed is a third person in relation to its writer and the person defamed therein. Fe, the wife, is, in context, a third person to whom the publication was made. Finally, the Court cannot give credence to Dolores' allegation that she is not the author of the unsigned libelous letter. It cannot be overstressed that she herself handed the unsigned letter to Evelyn Arcartado with specific instructions
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to give the same to Fe Alejandro. Likewise, the contents of the letters are basically reiteration/elaborations of Dolores' previous writing on the wall and her letter to the BCP Sub-Station commander. What the Court of Appeals said on this point is basic common sense and deserving of acceptance.

The Supreme Court finds all the elements of libel to have been sufficiently established. Accordingly, the ascription of reversible errors on the part of the CA and the trial court in adjudging Dolores guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of libel cannot be sustained.

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Alvin Ocampo 2011-0386

Buatis v. People (G.R. No. 142509)


Facts:

On August 18, 1995, the wife of private-complainant Atty. JoseJ. Pieraz (Atty. Pieraz), retrieved a letter from their mailbox addressed to her husband. The letter was open, not contained in an envelope, and Atty. Pieraz wife put it on her husband's desk. On that same day, Atty. Pieraz came upon the letter and made out its content. It reads:

DON HERMOGENES RODRIGUEZ Y REYES ESTATE Office of the Asst. Court Administrator No. 1063 Kamias St., Bgy. Manggahan, PasigCity, Metro Manila August 18, 1995 ATTY. JOSE J. PIERAZ Counsel for Benjamin A. Monroy #8 Quirino St., Life Homes Subdivision Rosario , PasigCity, Metro Manila Subject: Anent your letter dated August 18, 1995 addressed to one Mrs. Teresita Quingco Atty. Pieraz: This has reference to your lousy but inutile threatening letter dated August 18, 1995, addressed to our client; using carabao English.

May we remind you that any attempt on your part to continue harassing the person of Mrs. Teresita Quingco of No. 1582 Mngo St., Bgy. Manggahan, PasigCity, Metro Manila--undersigned much to his regrets shall be

constrained/compelled to file the necessary complaint for disbarment against you.

You may proceed then with your stupidity and suffer the full consequence of the law. Needless for you to cite specific
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provisions of the Revised Penal Code, as the same is irrelevant to the present case. As a matter of fact, the same shall be used by no other than the person of Mrs. Quingco in filing administrative charge against you and all persons behind these nefarious activities.

Finally, it is a welcome opportunity for the undersigned to face you squarely in any courts of justice, so as we can prove 'who is who once and for all.

Trusting that you are properly inform (sic) regarding these matters, I remain.

Yours in Satan name; (Signed) JOSE ALEMANIA BUATIS, JR. Atty-in- Fact of the present Court Administrator of the entire Intestate Estate of Don Hermogenes Rodriguez Y. Reyes. Copy furnished: All concerned.

Reacting to the insulting words used by Buatis, Jr., particularly: 'Satan, senile, stupid, [E]nglish carabao, Atty. Pieraz filed a complaint for libel against accused-appellant. Subject letter and its contents came to the knowledge not only of his wife but of his children as well and they all chided him telling him: 'Ginagawa ka lang gago dito.

The defense forwarded by accused-appellant Buatis, Jr. was denial. According to him, it was at the behest of the president of the organization 'Nagkakaisang Samahan Ng Mga Taga Manggahan or NASATAMA, and of a member, Teresita Quingco, that he had dictated to one of his secretaries, a comment to the letter of private-complainant in the second week of August 1995.

Initially during his testimony, Buatis, Jr. could not recall whether he had signed that letter-comment or if it was even addressed to Atty. Pieraz. Neither could he remember if he had made and sent another letter, this time dated
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August 24, 1995, to Atty. Pieraz. Confronted in court with the counter-affidavit which he filed before the Pasig City Prosecutor's Office, however, Buatis, Jr. could not deny its contents, among which was his admission that indeed, he had sent subject letter of August 18 and the letter dated August 24, 1995 to Atty. Pieraz.

After trial on the merits, the RTC rendered its Decision dated April 30, 1997 finding petitioner guilty of the crime of libel.

Subsequently, petitioner appealed the RTC's decision to the CA which, in its Decision dated January 18, 2000, affirmed in its entirety the decision of the trial court.

The CA denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration in a Resolution dated March 13, 2000.

Hence, the instant petition for review on certiorari filed by petitioner.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner is guilty of libel?

Decision:

The Supreme Court denied the petition.

Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code defines libel as a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.

For an imputation to be libelous, the following requisites must concur: (a) it must be defamatory; (b) it must be malicious; (c) it must be given publicity;and (d) the victim must be identifiable.

The last two elements have been duly established by the prosecution. There is publication in this case. In libel, publication means making the
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defamatory matter, after it is written, known to someone other than the person against whom it has been written. Petitioner's subject letter-reply itself states that the same was copy furnished to all concerned. Also, petitioner had dictated the letter to his secretary. It is enough that the author of the libel complained of has communicated it to a third person. Furthermore, the letter, when found in the mailbox, was open, not contained in an envelope thus, open to public.

The victim of the libelous letter was identifiable as the subject letter-reply was addressed to respondent himself.

In determining whether a statement is defamatory, the words used are to be construed in their entirety and should be taken in their plain, natural and ordinary meaning as they would naturally be understood by persons reading them, unless it appears that they were used and understood in another sense. For the purpose of determining the meaning of any publication alleged to be libelous, we laid down the rule in Jimenez v. Reyes, to wit:

In Tawney vs. Simonson, Whitcomb & Hurley Co. (109 Minn., 341), the court had the following to say on this point:In determining whether the specified matter is libelous per se, two rules of construction are conspicuously

applicable:(1)That construction must be adopted which will give to the matter such a meaning as is natural and obvious in the plain and ordinary sense in which the public would naturally understand what was uttered.(2)The published matter alleged to be libelous must be construed as a whole.

In applying these rules to the language of an alleged libel, the court will disregard any subtle or ingenious explanation offered by the publisher on being called to account.The whole question being the effect the publication had upon the minds of the readers, and they not having been assisted by the offered explanation in reading the article, it comes too late to have the effect of removing the sting, if any there be, from the words used in the publication.ry

Gauging from the abovementioned tests, the words used in the letter dated August 18, 1995 sent by petitioner to respondent is defamatory. In using
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words such as 'lousy', 'inutile', 'carabao English', 'stupidity', and 'satan', the letter, as it was written, casts aspersion on the character, integrity and reputation of respondent as a lawyer which exposed him to ridicule. No evidence aliunde need be adduced to prove it. As the CA said, these very words of petitioner have caused respondent to public ridicule as even his own family have told him: 'Ginagawa ka lang gago dito.

Any of the imputations covered by Article 353 is defamatory; and, under the general rule laid down in Article 354, every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown. Thus, when the imputation is defamatory, the prosecution need not prove malice on the part of petitioner (malice in fact), for the law already presumes that petitioner's imputation is malicious (malice in law). A reading of petitioner's subject letter-reply showed that he malevolently castigated respondent for writing such a demand letter to Mrs. Quingco. There was nothing in the said letter which showed petitioner's good intention and justifiable motive for writing the same in order to overcome the legal inference of malice.

Thus, the Supreme Court find that the CA did not commit any error in affirming the findings of the trial court that petitioner is guilty of the crime of libel.

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Justiniano Quiza 2008-0290

Art. 358: Slander


Villanueva v. People (G.R. No. 160351)
Facts:

Petitioner Noel Villanueva was a member of the Municipal Council while private complainant Yolanda C. Castro was the Municipal Vice Mayor of Concepcion, Tarlac.

Sometime in September 1994, petitioner was filing an application for monetized leave for the approval of herein complainant. The application was not immediately attended to by complainant as she was then busy dictating some important matters to her secretary. A heated argument then ensued between the complainant and the enraged defendant Villanueva. In the presence of several persons, defendant Villanueva, in a loud voice and within hearing distance of everyone present, unlawfully, maliciously and feloniously uttered in a serious and insulting manner the following words: "Nagmamalinis ca, ena ca man malinis, garapal ca" and "Balamu mansanas cang malutu, pero queng quilib ularan ca, tictac carinat" (You are pretending to be clean and honest yet you are not clean and honest, you are corrupt; you are like a red apple, but inside you are worm infested and extremely dirty).

Issue:

Whether the petitioner is guilty slight or serious oral defamation.

Decision:

Petitioner is guilty of slight oral defamation.

Slander is libel committed by oral (spoken) means, instead of in writing. The term oral defamation or slander as now understood, has been defined as the speaking of base and defamatory words which tend to prejudice another in his reputation, office, trade, business or means of livelihood. There is grave slander

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when it is of a serious and insulting nature. The gravity of the oral defamation depends not only (1) upon the expressions used, but also (2) on the personal relations of the accused and the offended party, and (3) the circumstances surrounding the case. Indeed, it is a doctrine of ancient respectability that defamatory words will fall under one or the other, depending not only upon their sense, grammatical significance, and accepted ordinary meaning judging them separately, but also upon the special circumstances of the case, antecedents or relationship between the offended party and the offender, which might tend to prove the intention of the offender at the time.

In the case at bar, as a public official, petitioner, who was holding the position of Councilor at that time, is hidebound to be an exemplar to society against the use of intemperate language particularly because the offended party was a Vice-Mayor. However, it should be noted that such scathing words were uttered by petitioner in the heat of anger triggered by the fact, as found by the Court of Appeals, that complainant refused, without valid justification to approve the monetization of accrued leave credits of petitioner.

The rule that all possible circumstances favorable to the accused must be taken in his favor. The slander committed by petitioner can be characterized as slight slander following the doctrine that uttering defamatory words in the heat of anger, with some provocation on the part of the offended party constitutes only a light felony.

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Justiniano Quiza 2008-0290

Caal v. People (G.R. No. 163181)


Facts:

Petitioner is accused of bringing private complainant Daylinda Caal, into discredit, disrepute and contempt when he unlawfully and publicly speak and utter against her the following insulting words and expressions, to wit: AYAW MO KAHADLOK SA TESTIGOS NI DAYLINDA KAY WALAY BANCA-AGAN, NAHADLOK KAW KANG DAYLINDA, NABUHI ITON SA PANGAWAT, NABUHI ITON SA PANGAWAT which if translated in English language will mean (You afraid to the witness of Daylinda who had no how, why you afraid to Daylinda, she live from stealing, she is a long time thieves) and other words of similar imports.

Issue:

Whether or not statements of petitioner Caal constitute oral defamation?

Decision:

Yes. To say that Daylinda is a thief is irrefragably grave oral defamation. This imputes to her a crime that is dishonorable or contemptuous.

It must be remembered that every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown. And malice may be inferred from the style and tone of publication subject to certain exceptions which are not present in the case at bar. Indeed, calling Daylinda a thief is defamation against her character and reputation sufficient to cause her embarrassment and social humiliation.

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Justiniano Quiza 2008-0290

Pader v. People (G.R. No. 139157)


Facts:

On April 20, 1995, at about 8:00 p.m., Atty. Benjamin C. Escolango was conversing with his political leaders at the terrace of his house at Morong, Bataan when petitioner appeared at the gate and shouted Putang ina mo Atty. Escolango. Napakawalanghiya mo! The latter was dumbfounded and

embarrassed. At that time, Atty. Escolango was a candidate for vice mayor of Morong, Bataan in the elections of May 8, 1995.

Issue:

Whether petitioner is guilty of slight or serious oral defamation?

Decision:

Petitioner is guilty of slight oral defamation.

In resolving the issue, we are guided by a doctrine of ancient respectability that defamatory words will fall under one or the other, depending not only upon their sense, grammatical significance, and accepted ordinary meaning judging them separately, but also upon the special circumstances of the case, antecedents or relationship between the offended party and the offender, which might tend to prove the intention of the offender at the time.

Unquestionably, the words uttered were defamatory.

Considering,

however, the factual backdrop of the case, the oral defamation was only slight. The parties were also neighbors; that petitioner was drunk at the time he uttered the defamatory words; and the fact that petitioners anger was instigated by what Atty. Escolango did when petitioners father died. In which case, the oral defamation was not of serious or insulting nature.

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Alexander Santos 2006-0205

Title 14: Quasi-Offenses


Art. 365: Imprudence and Negligence
Loney vs. People (G.R. No. 152644)
Facts:

Petitioners are officers of Marcopper, a corporation engaged in mining in the province of Marinduque.

Marcopper had been storing tailings from its operations in a pit in Mt. Tapian, Marinduque. At the base of the pit ran a drainage tunnel leading to the Boac and Makalupnit rivers. It appears that Marcopper had placed a concrete plug at the tunnels end. On 24 March 1994, tailings gushed out of or near the tunnels end. In a few days, the Mt. Tapian pit had discharged millions of tons of tailings into the Boac and Makalupnit rivers.

In August 1996, the Department of Justice separately charged petitioners in the Municipal Trial Court of Boac, Marinduque ("MTC") with violation of Article 91(B), sub-paragraphs 5 and 6 of Presidential Decree No. 1067 or the Water Code of the Philippines ("PD 1067"), Section 8 of Presidential Decree No. 984 or the National Pollution Control Decree of 1976 ("PD 984"), Section 108 of Republic Act No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 ("RA 7942"), and Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code ("RPC") for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property.

Petitioners moved to quash the Informations on the grounds that the Informations were "duplicitous" as the Department of Justice charged more than one offense for a single act.

Issue:

Whether or not the charge of the charge for violation of Article 365 of the RPC "absorbs" the charges for violation of PD 1067, PD 984, and RA 7942?
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Decision:

The petition has no merit, The Court had continuously ruled that a single act or incident might offend against two or more entirely distinct and unrelated provisions of law thus justifying the prosecution of the accused for more than one offense. The only limit to this rule is the Constitutional prohibition that no person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for "the same offense.

In P.D. 1067 (Philippines Water Code), the additional element to be established is the dumping of mine tailings into the Makulapnit River and the entire Boac River System without prior permit from the authorities concerned.

In P.D. 984 (Anti-Pollution Law), the additional fact that must be proved is the existence of actual pollution. The gravamen is the pollution itself.

In R.A. 7942 (Philippine Mining Act), the additional fact that must be established is the willful violation and gross neglect on the part of the accused to abide by the terms and conditions of the Environmental Compliance Certificate.

On the other hand, the additional element that must be established in Art. 365 of the Revised Penal Code is the lack of necessary or adequate precaution, negligence, recklessness and imprudence on the part of the accused to prevent damage to property. This element is not required under the previous laws.

The claim that the charge for violation of Article 365 of the RPC "absorbs" the charges for violation of PD 1067, PD 984, and RA 7942 must fail, suffice it to say that a mala in se felony (such as Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property) cannot absorb mala prohibita crimes (such as those violating PD 1067, PD 984, and RA 7942). What makes the former a felony is criminal intent (dolo) or negligence (culpa); what makes the latter crimes are the special laws enacting them.

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Alexander Santos 2006-0205

Abueva vs. People (G.R. No. 134387)


Facts:

Petitioner Teofilo Abueva y Cagasan was charged before the Regional Trial Court of Davao City, in an information of Reckless Imprudence resulting in homicide for the death of Lourdes Mangruban qualified by petitioners failure to render or lend assistance on the spot to the victim such help as may be in the hands of the accused to give.

The information alleged that petitioner drove and moved a passenger bus out of the terminal building even before Lourdes Mangruban, a passenger of said bus, could properly find and safely take her seat, and that as a direct result of said negligence, recklessness and carelessness, LOURDES MANGRUBAN fell down to the cemented pavement of the terminal road and sustained the injuries which caused her death.

The facts showed that the victim, Lourdes Mangruban, fell rather than jumped off the bus. The claim of the defense that the deceased jumped off the bus is incredible and contrary to human experience.

Issues:

Whether or not petitioner is liable for Reckless Imprudence resulting to homicide?

Whether or not the qualifying circumstance, that the offender failed to lend on the spot to the injured parties such assistance as may be in his hands to give, should be considered against the petitioner?

Decision:

Yes, Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code states that reckless imprudence consists in voluntarily, but without malice, doing or failing to do an
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act from which material damage results by reason of inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the person performing or failing to perform such act, taking into consideration (1) his employment or occupation; (2) his degree of intelligence; (3) his physical condition; and (4) other circumstances regarding persons, time and place.

Petitioner herein is a professional driver who has been in the employ of the bus company for 18 years and has undergone training courses and seminars to improve his skills as a driver. He is expected to be well aware of his responsibilities to his passengers. Not only must he make sure that they reach their destinations on time, he must also ensure their safety while they are boarding, during the entire trip, and upon disembarking from the vehicle.

Having failed to exercise due diligence that resulted in the tragic incident, petitioners liability for the death of passenger Lourdes Mangruban, as found by the lower courts, must be sustained.

No, The records show that petitioner stated under oath that he alighted from the bus and saw that several people were assisting the injured party and corroborated by other witnesses.

The assistance required by Article 365, Revised Penal Code, is one which may be in the hands of the offender to give. We must therefore take into consideration the type and degree of assistance that the offender, at the time and place of the incident, is capable of giving.

Under the circumstances of this case, the petitioner is not a hit-and-run driver. He exerted efforts to see to it that the victim had been attended to. There were several people assisting the victim, including his co-employees working for the bus company. The injured party was carried from the terminal, to a vehicle, then to the hospital. Before petitioner was given clearance by the dispatcher to leave, an hour later, he was assured that the victim was brought already to the hospital. We note that petitioner had a bus full of passengers requiring also his attention. He could only do so much, so that the burden of helping the injured party was shared by the bus company personnel and other good Samaritans.

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Alexander Santos 2006-0205

People v. De los Santos (G.R. No. 131588)


Facts:

GLENN was then charged with the crimes of Multiple Murder, Multiple Frustrated Murder, and Multiple Attempted Murder in only one information filed with the Regional Trial Court of Cagayan de Oro City. The information read that the accused driving an Isuzu Elf, hit and killed members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), undergoing a Special Training Course (Scout Class 0795), wearing black T-shirts and black short pants, performing an "Endurance Run" of 35 kilometers coming from their camp in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, as a result thereof, some PNP members were killed on the spot, while another trainee/victim, Antonio Palomino Mino, died few days after the incident, while eleven (11) other trainee/victims were seriously wounded, and some sustained minor injuries.

After which said accused thereafter escaped from the scene of the incident, leaving behind the victims afore-enumerated helpless.

The trial court convicted GLENN of the complex crime of multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder and multiple attempted murder, with the use of motor vehicle as the qualifying circumstance.

Issue:

Whether or not accused is guilty as charged?

Whether the filing of only one information for the offenses as charged is valid?

Decision:

No, from the convergence of circumstances, the court held that the tragic event was more a product of reckless imprudence than of a malicious intent on

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accused part. The conclusion of the trial court and the OSG the accused intentionally rammed and hit the jogging trainees was premised on the assumption that despite the first bumping thuds, he continued to accelerate his vehicle instead of applying his brakes, as shown by the absence of brake marks or skid marks along the traffic scene. For its part, the defense attributed the continuous movement of accused vehicle to the confluence that the Isuzu Elf truck, a huge vehicle, was moving fast that even if the brakes were applied the truck would have still proceeded further on account of its momentum, albeit at a reduced speed, and would have stopped only after a certain distance.

It is a well-entrenched rule that if the inculpatory facts are capable of two or more explanations one consistent with the innocence or lesser degree of liability of the accused, and the other consistent with his guilt or graver responsibility the Court should adopt the explanation which is more favorable to the accused.

The court is convinced that the incident, tragic though it was in light of the number of persons killed and seriously injured, was an accident and not an intentional felony.

Although proof of motive is not indispensable to a conviction especially where the assailant is positively identified, such proof is, nonetheless, important in determining which of two conflicting theories of the incident is more likely to be true.

The test for determining whether a person is negligent in doing an act whereby injury or damage results to the person or property of another is this: Could a prudent man, in the position of the person to whom negligence is attributed, foresee harm to the person injured as a reasonable consequence of the course actually pursued? If so, the law imposes a duty on the actor to refrain from that course or to take precautions to guard against its mischievous results, and the failure to do so constitutes negligence. Reasonable foresight of harm, followed by the ignoring of the admonition born of this prevision, is always necessary before negligence can be held to exist. GLENN showed an inexcusable lack of precaution and liable under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code.

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Considering that the incident was not a product of a malicious intent but rather the result of a single act of reckless driving, accused should be held guilty of the complex crime of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide with serious physical injuries and less serious physical injuries.

Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code provides that when the single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum period. Since

No, The slight physical injuries caused by the accused to the ten other victims through reckless imprudence, would, had they been intentional, have constituted light felonies. Being light felonies, which are not covered by Article 48, they should be treated and punished as separate offenses. Separate informations should have, therefore, been filed.

However, It must be noted that only one information (for multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder and multiple attempted murder) was filed with the trial court. However, nothing appears in the record that GLENN objected to the multiplicity of the information in a motion to quash before his arraignment. Hence, he is deemed to have waived such defect.

Under Section 3, Rule 120 of the Rules of Court, when two or more offenses are charged in a single complaint or information and the accused fails to object to it before trial, the court may convict the accused of as many offenses as are charged and proved, and impose on him the penalty for each of them.

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Arlyn Barcelon 2006-0021

Anti-Wiretapping Act (R.A. No. 4200)


Socorro D. Ramirez vs. CA and Ester S. Garcia (G.R. No. 93833)
Facts:

A civil case for damages was filed by Socorro D. Ramirez in the RTC of Quezon City alleging that the private respondent, Ester Garcia, in a confrontation in the latters office, allegedly vexed, insulted and humiliated her in a hostile and furious mood and in a manner offensive to petitioners dignity and personality, contrary to morals, good customs and public policy. The petitioner produced the verbatim transcript on which civil case was based culled from a tape recording of the confrontation made by petitioner. As a result of petitioners recording of the event and alleging that the said act of secretly taping the confrontation was illegal, private respondent filed a criminal case before the RTC of Pasay City for violation of Republic Act 4200, entitled, An Act to prohibit and penalize wire tapping and other related violations of private communication, and other purposes.

Upon arraignment, petitioner filed a motion to quash the Information on the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense. The RTC granted the motion agreeing with petitioner. On February 9, 1990, respondent CA promulgated the assailed decision declaring the trial courts order null and void. Hence, the instant petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the act of petitioner Ramirez in recording the assailed conversation is covered by R. A. No. 4200?

Held:

Sec. 1 of R.A. No. 4200 clearly and unequivocally makes it illegal for any person, not authorized by all the parties to any private communication to secretly record such communication by means of tape recorder. The law makes no
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distinction as to whether the party sought to be penalized by the statute ought to be a party other than or different from those involved in the private communication. The statutes intent is to penalize all persons unauthorized to make such recordings is underscored by the use of a qualifier any. Consequently, as respondent CA correctly concluded, even a person (privy) to a communication who records his private conversation with another without the knowledge of the latter (will) qualify as a violator under this provision of R.A. No 4200.

The nature of the conversation is immaterial to a violation of the statute. The substance of the same need not be specifically alleged in the information. What R.A. 4200 penalizes are the acts of secretly overhearing, intercepting or recording private communications by means of devices enumerated therein. Mere allegation that an individual made a secret recording of private communication by means of a tape recorder would suffice to constitute an offense under Sec. 1 of R.A. 4200. Petitioners contention that the phrase private communication in Sec.1 of R.A. 4200 does not include private conversations narrows the ordinary meaning of the word communication to a point of absurdity.

The instant case turns on a different note, because the applicable facts and circumstances pointing to a violation of R.A. 4200 suffer from no ambiguity, and the statute itself explicitly mentions the unauthorized recording of private communications with the use of tape- recorders as among the acts punishable.

Petition is hereby denied.

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Arlyn Barcelon 2006-0021

Felipe Navarro vs. CA and People (G.R. No. 121087)


Facts:

It appears that, at around 8:40 in evening of February 4, 1990, Stanley Jalbuena and Enrique Ike Lingan, who were reporters of the radio station DWTI in Lucena City, together with one Mario Ilagan, went to the Entertainment City following reports that it was showing nude dancers.

After the three had seated and ordered beer, a dancer appeared on stage and began to perform a strip act. As the dancer removed her bra, Jalbuena took a picture.

The floor manager, Dante Liquin, with security guard, Alex Sioco, approached Jalbuena and demanded why he took picture. Jalbuena replied: wala kang pakialam, because this is my job. When Jalbuena saw that Sioco was about to pull out his gun, he ran out followed by his companions.

Jalbuena and his companion went to the police station to report the matter. Three of the policemen on duty including Navarro, were having drinks in front of the police station and they asked Jalbuena to join them. Jalbuena declined and went to the desk officer, Sgt. Anonuevo, to report the incident. Liquin and Sioco arrived on a motorcycle.

Sioco and Liquin were met by Navarro who talked with them in a corner for around fifteen minutes. Navarro turned to Jalbuena and pushing him to the wall, Navarro then pulled out his firearm and cocked it, pressing it on the face of Jalbuena. At this point, Lingan intervened and said to Navarro: huwag namang ganyan, pumarito kami para magpa blotter. Navarro replied: walang press, press, mag- sampu pa kayo. He then turned to Sgt. Anonuevo and told him to make of record the behaviour of Jalbuena and Lingan. This angered Lingan, he said, Masyado kang mayabang alisin mo yang baril mo at magsuntukan na lang tayo. As Lingan was about to turn away, Navarro hit him with the handle of his pistol above the left eyebrow. Lingan fell on
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the floor, blood flowing. He tried to get up, but Navarro gave him a fist blow on he forehead which floored him. Unknown to Navarro, Jalbuena was able to record on tape the exchange between petitioner and the deceased.

The RTC of Lucena City rendered decision finding Petitioner Navarro guilty beyond reasonable doubt of homicide. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the RTC.

Issue:

Whether or not the tape recorder recorded by Jalbuena is admissible as evidence in view of R.A. No. 4200 which prohibits wire tapping?

Held: Indeed, Jalbuenas testimony is confirmed by the voice recording he had made. It may be asked whether the tape is admissible in view of R.A. No. 4200, which prohibits wire tapping. The answer is in the affirmative. The law provides: x x x Thus, the law prohibits the overhearing, intercepting or recording of private communications. Since the exchange between petitioner Navarro and Lingan was not private, its tape recording is not prohibited.

Nor is there any question that it was duly authenticated. A voice recording is authenticated by the testimony of a witness (1) that he personally recorded the conversation; (2) that the tape played in court was the one he recorded; and (3) that the voices on the tape are those of the persons such are claimed to belong. In the instant case, Jalbuena testified that he personally made the voice recording; that the tape played in court was the one he recorded; and that the speakers on the tape were petitioner Navarro and Lingan. A sufficient foundation was thus laid for the authentication of the tape presented by the prosecution.

The voice recording made by Jalbuena established : (1) that there was a heated exchange between petitioner Navarro and Lingan on the placing in the police blotter of an entry against him and Jalbuena; and (2) that some form of violence occurred involving petitioner Navarro and Lingan, with the latter getting the worst of it.

Wherefore, the decision of the CA is affirmed.


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Arlyn Barcelon 2006-0021

Edgardo A. Gaanan vs. IAC and People (G.R. No. L- 69809)


Facts:

It appears that in the morning of October 22, 1975, complainant Atty. Tito Pintor and his client Manuel Montebon were in the living room of complainants residence discussing the terms for the withdrawal of the complaint for direct assault which they filed against Leonardo Laconico. After they had decided on the proposed conditions, complainant made telephone call to Laconico.

That same morning, Laconico telephoned appellant, who is a lawyer to come to his office and advised him on the settlement of the direct assault case because his regular lawyer is on a business trip. Appellant went to the said office.

When complainant called up, Laconico requested appellant to secretly listen to the telephone conversation through a telephone extension so as to hear personally the proposed conditions for settlement. Appellant heard complainant enumerate the conditions for withdrawal of the complaint for direct assault.

Complainant called up to ask Laconico if he was agreeable, the latter said yes. Complainant told him to wait for instructions on where to deliver the money. Complainant instructed Laconico to give the money to his wife. Laconico alerted his friend Colonel Zulueta, insisted that complainant himself receive the money. When complainant received the money he was arrested by agents of the Philippine Constabulary.

Appellant executed on the following day an affidavit stating that he heard complainant demand P8,000.00 for the withdrawal of the case for direct assault. Laconico attached the affidavit of appellant to the complaint for robbery/ extortion which he filed against complainant. Since the appellant listened to the telephone conversation without complainants consent, complainant charged appellant and Laconico with violation of the Anti- Wiretapping Act.

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The trial court ruled that Gaanan and Laconico violated Section 1 of R.A. 4200. The petitioner appealed to the appellate court. However the appellate court affirmed the decision of the trial court. Hence this appeal.

Issue: Whether or not an extension telephone is covered by the term device or arrangement under R.A. 4200?

Decision:

An extension telephone cannot be placed in the same category as a Dictaphone, dictagraph or the other devices enumerated in Section 1 of R.A. 4200 as the use thereof cannot be considered as tapping the wire or cable of telephone line. The telephone extension in this case was not installed for that purpose. It just happened to be there for ordinary office use. It is a rule in statutory construction that in order to determine the true intent of the legislature, the particular clauses and phrases of the statute should not be taken as detached and isolated expressions, but the whole and every part must be considered in fixing the meaning of any of its parts. Hence, the phrase device or arrangement in Section 1 of RA 4200, although not exclusive to that enumerated therein, should be construed to comprehend instruments of the same or similar nature, that is, instruments the use of which would be tantamount to tapping the main line of the telephone. It refers to instruments whose installation or presence cannot be presumed by the party or parties overheard because, by their very nature, they are not of common usage and their purpose is precisely for tapping, intercepting, or recording a telephone conversation.

Furthermore, it is a general rule that penal statutes must be construed strictly in favour of the accused. Thus, in case of doubt as in the case at bar, on whether or not an extension telephone is included in the phrase device or arrangement, the penal statute must be construed as not including an extension telephone.

Consequently, the mere act of listening, in order to be punishable must strictly be with the use of the enumerated devices in R.A. No. 4200 or others of
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similar nature. We are of the view that an extension telephone is not among such devices or arrangements.

Wherefore, the petition is granted. The petitioner is Acquitted of the crime of violation of Republic Act No. 4200, otherwise known as the Anti- Wiretapping Act.

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Tablico, Sheryll G. 2008-0341

Anti-Carnapping Law (R.A. 6539)


People v. Bustinera (G.R. No. 148233)
Facts:

Accused being then employed as one of the taxi Drivers of Elias S. Cipriano, an Operator of several taxi cabs. It was agreed that appellant would drive the taxi from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m, after which he would return it to ESC Transports garage and remit the boundary fee in the amount of P780.00 per day. On December 25, 1996, appellant admittedly reported for work and drove the taxi, but he did not return it on the same day as he was supposed to. The following day, Cipriano went to appellants house to ascertain why the taxi was not returned. Arriving at appellants house, he did not find the taxi there, appellants wife telling him that her husband had not yet arrived. Leaving nothing to chance, Cipriano went to the Commonwealth Avenue police station and reported that his taxi was missing. The trial court found appellant Luisito Bustinera guilty beyond reasonable doubt of qualified theft for the unlawful taking of Daewoo Racer GTE Taxi. Hence, this appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not the RTC is correct in convicting the accused-appellant for qualified theft?

Decision:

No. The elements of the crime of theft as provided for in Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code are: (1) that there be taking of personal property; (2) that said property belongs to another; (3) that the taking be done with intent to gain; (4) that the taking be done without the consent of the owner; and (5) that the taking be accomplished without the use of violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things. Theft is qualified when any of the following circumstances is present: (1) the theft is committed by a domestic servant; (2) the theft is committed with grave abuse of confidence; (3) the property stolen is either a motor vehicle, mail matter or large cattle; (4) the property stolen consists
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of coconuts taken from the premises of a plantation; (5) the property stolen is fish taken from a fishpond or fishery; and (6) the property was taken on the occasion of fire, earthquake, typhoon, volcanic eruption, or any other calamity, vehicular accident or civil disturbance.

Section 2 of Republic Act No. 6539, as amended defines "carnapping" as "the taking, with intent to gain, of a motor vehicle belonging to another without the latter's consent, or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things." The elements of carnapping are thus: (1) the taking of a motor vehicle which belongs to another; (2) the taking is without the consent of the owner or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons or by using force upon things; and (3) the taking is done with intent to gain. Carnapping is essentially the robbery or theft of a motorized vehicle, the concept of unlawful taking in theft, robbery and carnapping being the same. From the foregoing, since appellant is being accused of the unlawful taking of a Daewoo sedan, it is the anti-carnapping law and not the provisions of qualified theft which would apply as the said motor vehicle does not fall within the exceptions mentioned in the anti-carnapping law.

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Tablico, Sheryll G. 2008-0341

People v. Garcia (G.R. No. 138470)


Facts:

Joselito Cortez, a taxicab operator based in Marilao, Bulacan, was approached by Garcia and Bernabe because they wanted to borrow his brand new Mitsubishi L300 van for their trip to the Bicol region. Cortez refused, saying that the van was unavailable. Instead, he got in touch with Ferdinand Ignacio, who had just purchased a brand new Toyota Tamaraw FX. Ignacio agreed to lease his vehicle to Cortez for two days at the daily rate of P2,000.00. Bernabe and Garcia, on the other hand, rented the vehicle from Cortez for P4,000.00 a day inclusive of the P500.00 drivers fee. They agreed to pay the rental fee upon their return from Bicol. Cortez and his driver, Wilfredo Elis, picked up Ignacios Tamaraw FX at his residence in Meycauayan, Bulacan. Elis drove the same back to Marilao, Bulacan and, at 8:00 a.m., he and the two accused left for Bicol.

However, four days passed without a word from Garcia and Bernabe. Cortez began to worry about the vehicle he had borrowed from Ferdinand Ignacio so he informed the Barangay Captain of Saog, Marilao, Bulacan. It was later found out that the two accused attempted to sell the vehicle. They stabbed and dumped Elis him along the highway near the sabana in San Rafael, Bulacan when Elis refused to join their plan to sell the Tamaraw FX. The RTC found Artemio Garcia and Regalado Bernabe guilty beyond reasonable doubt of special complex crime of carnapping with homicide. Hence, this appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not the two accused are guilty of the crime charged?

Decision:

Republic Act No. 6539, otherwise known as "An Act Preventing and Penalizing Carnapping", defines "carnapping" as "the taking, with intent to gain, of a motor vehicle belonging to another without the latters consent, or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things." More specifically, the elements of the crime are as follows: 1. That there is an
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actual taking of the vehicle; 2. That the offender intends to gain from the taking of the vehicle; 3. That the vehicle belongs to a person other than the offender himself; 4. That the taking is without the consent of the owner thereof; or that the taking was committed by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things.

A careful examination of the evidence presented shows that all the elements of carnapping were proved in this case. In the case at bar, it cannot be denied that the nature of the appellants possession of the Tamaraw FX was initially lawful. Nevertheless, the unlawful killing of the deceased for the purpose of taking the vehicle radically transformed the character of said possession into an unlawful one. Cortez categorically stated that during his first visit to the Moncada Police Station where appellant and his co-accused were detained, the two separately admitted to him that they killed the deceased when the latter refused to join their plan to sell the vehicle.

Moreover, it must be stressed that the acts committed by appellant constituted the crime of carnapping even if the deceased was the driver of the vehicle and not the owner. The settled rule is that, in crimes of unlawful taking of property through intimidation or violence, it is not necessary that the person unlawfully divested of the personal property be the owner thereof. What is simply required is that the property taken does not belong to the offender. Actual possession of the property by the person dispossessed suffices. So long as there is apoderamiento of personal property from another against the latter's will through violence or intimidation, with animo de lucro, unlawful taking of a property belonging to another is imputable to the offender.

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Tablico, Sheryll G. 2008-0341

People v. Lobitania (G.R. No. 142380)


Facts:

That on or about December 6, 1998, in the City or Urdaneta and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused SPO1 Danilo Lobitania with grave abuse of authority being a member of the Navotas PNP-NPD Command, Navotas, Metro Manila, together with three still unidentified companions, armed with firearms by means of force and intimidation with intent to gain, conspiring with one another, did, then and there willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously take, steal and carry away one Yamaha motorized tricycle with Plate No. 2N-7910 owned by David Sarto and driven at the time by Alexander de Guzman against the latters will and without his consent and on the occasion of the carnapping or by reason thereof, accused with intent to kill, treachery and taking advantage of superior strength conspiring with one another, did, then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously box, hogtie, shoot and push out of the moving tricycle which caused the instantaneous death of said Alexander de Guzman, to the damage and prejudice of his heirs.

The trial court rendered a decision finding accused-appellant of the crime of aggravated carnapping with murder.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused-appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged?

Decision:

Yes. After a thorough review of the records, we find that the prosecution was able to prove that accused-appellants guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Based on the facts proven, the offense committed by accused-appellant is the special complex crime of qualified carnapping or carnapping in an aggravated form under Section 14 of Republic Act No. 6539, the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1992, as amended by Section 20 of Republic Act No. 7659, the Death Penalty Law, which took effect on 31 December 1993.
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In Section 2 of R. A. 6536 as amended, defines the crime of carnapping as the taking, with intent to gain, of a motor vehicle belonging to another without the latters consent, or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things. It becomes qualified when in the course of the commission or on occasion of the carnapping, the owner, driver or occupant of the carnapped vehicle is killed or raped. When the carnapping is qualified, the penalty imposable is reclusion perpetua to death. In the case at bar, all the elements were duly proven by the prosecution. Based on the testimony of Sanchez, accused-appellant and his companions shot the driver of the tricycle, abandoned him and took possession of the vehicle. The testimony of Sanchez that the driver was unknown to the group clearly establishes the fact that the motive of accused-appellant was to steal the tricycle and that the killing of the driver was incidental thereto.

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Ozelle Dedicatoria 2006-0406

Probation Law
Domingo Lagrosa and Osias Baguin v. People (G.R. No. 152044)
Facts:

The Regional Trial Court of Tagbilaran City rendered a decision against the petitioners Lagrosa and Baguin for violation of Section 68 of P.D. 705, as amended (The Revised Forestry Code), for having in their possession forest products without the requisite permits. They were sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment from two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day of prision correccional, as minimum, to eight (8) years of prision mayor, as maximum. Petitioners Motion for Reconsideration of the decision was denied by the trial court.

Thereafter, they appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals. However, the appellate court affirmed the conviction of the petitioners, with the modification as to the penalty imposed, which was reduced to an indeterminate penalty ranging from six (6) months and one (1) day of Prision Correccional, as minimum, to one (1) year, eight (8) months and twenty one (21) days of Prision Correccional, as maximum. Said decision became final and executory. Petitioners filed an Application for Probation with the trial court but it was denied. Petitioners motion for reconsideration was also denied. Hence, petitioners filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals but it the latter only affirmed the decision of the trial court.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioners should be allowed to apply for probation even if they had already appealed the decision of the trial court?

Decision:

The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. It held that probation may be granted whether the sentence imposes a term of imprisonment or a fine only. An

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application for probation shall be filed with the trial court. The filing of the application shall be deemed a waiver of the right to appeal. Under Section 9 (a)

of the Probation Law, offenders who are sentenced to serve a maximum term of imprisonment of more than six years are disqualified from seeking probation. In the case at bar, upon interposing an appeal petitioners should be precluded from seeking probation. By perfecting their appeal, petitioners ipso facto relinquished the alternative remedy of availing of the Probation Law, the purpose of which is simply to prevent speculation or opportunism on the part of an accused who, although already eligible, does not at once apply for probation, but did so only after failing in his appeal.

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Ozelle Dedicatoria 2006-0406

Lilia Vicoy v. People (G.R. No. 138203)


Facts:

Petitioner Vicoy was found guilty by the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Tagbilaran City for violation of City Ordinance No. 365-B for peddling fish outside the Agora Public Market, and accordingly sentences her to suffer the penalty of a fine of Fifty Pesos (P50.00) with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Also, she was found to be guilty for the crime of Resistance and Serious Disobedience to Agents of a Person in Authority, and accordingly sentences her to suffer the penalty of three (3) months of Arresto Mayor and to pay a fine of two Hundred Pesos (P200.00) without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.

Thereafter, she filed an application for probation but later on, petitioner filed a motion to withdraw her application for probation and simultaneously filed a notice of appeal. The MTCC granted petitioners withdrawal of application for probation but denied her notice of appeal for having been filed out of time. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied. Consequently, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with the Regional Trial Court but it was dismissed. Hence, the instant petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the judgment rendered by the MTCC became final despite the withdrawal of the application for probation?

Decision:

The Supreme Court ruled in the affirmative. It held that under Section 7, Rule 120, of the Rules on Criminal Procedure is explicit that a judgment in a criminal case becomes final when the accused has applied for probation. This is totally in accord with Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 968 (Probation Law of 1976, as amended), which in part provides that the filing of an application for probation is deemed a waiver of the right to appeal. Thus, there was no more
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opportunity for petitioner to exercise her right to appeal, the judgment having become final by the filing of an application for probation.

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Ozelle Dedicatoria 2006-0406

Alejandra Pablo v. Hon. Silverio Castillo and People (G.R. No. 125108)
Facts:

Information was filed before the RTC of Dagupan against petitioner Pablo charging her with a violation for BP 22 (Bouncing Check Law) for issuing and delivering various checks to Nelson Mandap in partial payment of a loan she obtained from the latter. When Mandap draw those checks from the bank, it was dishonored upon presentment for payment because the current account of the petitioner had been closed. The trial court rendered its judgment convicting petitioner for the crime charged, sentencing her to pay a fine and to serve a prison term of 30 days.

Thereafter, petitioner applied for probation. Her application was given due course and was given a favorable evaluation upon recommendation of the local probation office. However, such recommendation was overruled by the National Probation Office and denied petitioners application on the ground that she is disqualified under Section 9 ( c ) of the Probation Law: c) those who have previously been convicted by final judgment of an offense punished by imprisonment of not less than one month and one day and/or fine of not less than two hundred pesos. Respondent judge denied petitioners application for probation. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was denied. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the respondent court acted with grave abuse of discretion in denying petitioners application for probation on the ground of disqualification from probation under Section 9 of P.D. 968?

Decision:

The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. It held that Section 9 paragraph (c) is in clear and plain language, to the effect that a person, who was previously convicted by final judgment of an offense punishable by imprisonment of not less

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than one month and one day and/or a fine of not less than two hundred pesos, is disqualified from applying for probation. This provision of law is definitive and unqualified. There is nothing in Section 9, paragraph (c) which qualifies "previous conviction" as referring to a conviction for a crime which is entirely different from that for which the offender is applying for probation or a crime which arose out of a single act or transaction as petitioner would have the court to understand. As held in Rura vs. Lopea, the word previous" refers to conviction, and not to commission of a crime.

It is well-settled that the probation law is not a penal statute; and therefore, the principle of liberal interpretation is inapplicable. And when the meaning is clearly discernible from the language of the statute, there is no room for construction or interpretation.

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Anna May Vallejos 2007-0140

Anti-Fencing Law
Fransisco v. People (GR No. 146584)
Facts:

The private complainant in this case, Jovita Rodriquez, was the wife of the former mayor of Rodriguez Rizal and was engaged in business as a general contractor. She and her husband own pieces of jewelry which they kept inside a locked cabinet in a locked room in their main house. Aside from her family, she also had under her employ one Macario Linghon and the latters sister, Pacita, who was their household helper charged with sweeping and cleaning the room periodically. Pacita later on left her employ.

Sometime on August 1992, she was surprised to discover that the box where the jewelries were kept inside the cabinet were empty. There appears no indication however that the lock of the cabinet was broken. Among the pieces of jewelry missing were one heart-shaped diamond ring worth P100,000; one white gold bracelet with diamond stones worth P150,000; and a pair of diamond heartshaped earrings worth P400,000.

Believing that Pacita, her previous helper, had taken said jewelries, she filed a complaint for theft against her and her mother Adoracion. When the latter was invited to the police station, she admitted selling one pair of heart-shaped earrings with diamond, one white gold bracelet, one heart-shaped diamond ring, and one ring with big and small stones to petitioner whom she identified as Mang Erning. The amount she obtained from said sale, was, according to her, intended for her fathers operation and for food.

To confirm her admission, she accompanied the policemen to said Mang Erning, who refused to cooperate with them at first when Pacita identified him as the one who purchased the stolen jewelries. Despite his refusal, however, Jovita filed a complaint for violation of PD 1612 or Anti-Fencing Law, against him. To strengthen her accusations against petitioner, she obtained the written testimony of the policemen involved in the case and also convinced Macario to testify against him as Macario had once sold jewelries to him.
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In the meantime, the trial court found Pacita and her mother guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of theft and PD 1612 respectively.

Subsequently, the trial court also rendered judgment in the case of petitioner and found him also guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating PD 1612.

Wasting no time, petitioner appealed the adverse decision to the Court of Appeals alleging that the lower court erred in not finding that the testimony of prosecution witnesses are all hearsay evidence and that because of said failure, his guilt beyond reasonable doubt was not sufficiently established. The court of Appeals however affirmed the trial courts decision. Hence the present appeal to the Supreme Court.

Issue:

Whether or not the conviction of Pacita in the crime of theft is sufficient to establish petitioners conviction for violation of PD 1612?

Whether or not the prosecution based on the pieces of evidence presented was able to prove petitioners guilt beyond reasonable doubt?

Decision:

No. We agree with the trial and appellate courts that the prosecution mustered the requisite quantum of evidence, on the basis of the testimony of Jovita, that Pacita stole the subject jewelry from the locked cabinet in the main house of her then employer. Jovita testified on her ownership of the jewelry and the loss thereof, and narrated that Pacita had access to the cabinet containing the pieces of jewelry.

We, however, agree with the petitioner that the decision of the RTC of Rizal, Branch 76, in Criminal Case No. 2005 convicting Pacita of theft does not constitute proof against him in this case, that Pacita had, indeed, stolen the jewelry. There is no showing that the said decision in Criminal Case No. 2005 was already final and executory when the trial court rendered its decision in the instant case.

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No. The essential elements of the crime of fencing are as follows: (1) a crime of robbery or theft has been committed; (2) the accused, who is not a principal or accomplice in the commission of the crime of robbery or theft, buys, receives, possesses, keeps, acquires, conceals, sells or disposes, or buys and sells, or in any manner deals in any article, item, object or anything of value, which has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; (3) the accused knew or should have shown that the said article, item, object or anything of value has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; and, (4) there is, on the part of the accused, intent to gain for himself or for another. Fencing is malum prohibitum, and P.D. No. 1612 creates a prima facie presumption of fencing from evidence of possession by the accused of any good, article, item, object or anything of value which has been the subject of robbery or theft, and prescribes a higher penalty based on the value of the property.33 The stolen property subject of the charge is not indispensable to prove fencing. It is merely corroborative of the testimonies and other evidence adduced by the prosecution to prove the crime of fencing.

On the second element of the crime, the trial and appellate courts held that the prosecution proved the same beyond reasonable doubt based on the testimony of Jovita during the trial in Criminal Cases Nos. 1992 and 2005; that Pacita had confessed to Jovita that she sold some of the jewelry to the petitioner; the joint affidavit of PO1 Roldan, Jr. and SPO1 Peralta on their investigation of the complaint of Jovita; the testimony of PO1 Roldan, Jr. relating to said investigation; the RTC decision in Criminal Cases Nos. 1992 and 2005; the testimonies of Pacita and her brother Macario during the preliminary investigation of Criminal Case No. 92-13841 before the MTC of Meycauayan as shown by the transcripts of the stenographic notes taken during the proceedings; the supplemental sworn statement of Pacita on August 23, 1992 in Camp Crame, Quezon City, and, the testimony of Macario before the trial court. First. Jovitas testimony in Criminal Cases Nos. 1992 and 2005, that Pacita had confessed to her that she had sold four pieces of jewelry to the petitioner, is inadmissible in evidence against the latter to prove the truth of the said admission. It bears stressing that the petitioner was not a party in the said criminal cases. The well-entrenched rule is that only parties to a case are bound by a judgment of the trial court. Strangers to a case are not bound by the judgment of said case.34 Jovita did not reiterate her testimony in the said criminal cases during the trial in the court a quo. The prosecution did not present
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Pacita as witness therein to testify on the admission she purportedly made to Jovita; hence, the petitioner was not able to cross-examine Pacita. The rule is that the acts or declarations of a person are not admissible in evidence against a third party.

Second. The testimony of Pacita during the preliminary investigation in Criminal Case No. 92-13841, as well as her supplemental affidavit, is, likewise, inadmissible against the petitioner since Pacita did not testify in the court a quo. The petitioner was, thus, deprived of his constitutional right to confront and crossexamine a witness against him.

Third. The testimony of PO1 Roldan, Jr., that on August 23, 1992, Pacita pointed to the petitioner, while the latter was having a drinking spree, as the person who bought the subject jewelry from her, is indeed admissible in evidence against the petitioner. It is, likewise, corroborative of the testimony of Macario. However, such testimony is admissible only to prove such fact - that Pacita pointed to the petitioner as the person to whom she sold the subject jewelry; it is inadmissible to prove the truth of Pacitas declaration to the policemen, that the petitioner was the one who purchased the jewelry from her. It must be stressed that the policemen had no personal knowledge of the said sale, and, more importantly, Pacita did not testify in the court a quo. Indeed, the petitioner was deprived of his right to cross-examine Pacita on the truth of what she told the policemen.

Fourth. On the other hand, the testimony of Macario during the preliminary investigation of Criminal Case No. 92-13841 is admissible in evidence against the petitioner since he testified for the prosecution and was cross-examined on his testimony during the preliminary investigation.

In fine, the only evidence of the prosecution to prove that the petitioner purchased the jewelry from Macario and Pacita are the following: the testimony and affidavit of PO1 Roldan, Jr.; and, the testimony of Macario during the preliminary investigation and trial in the court a quo.

It bears stressing that, in the absence of direct evidence that the accused had knowledge that the jewelry was stolen, the prosecution is burdened to prove facts and circumstances from which it can be concluded that the accused should have known that the property sold to him were stolen. This requirement serves
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two basic purposes: (a) to prove one of the elements of the crime of fencing; and, (b) to enable the trial court to determine the imposable penalty for the crime, since the penalty depends on the value of the property; otherwise, the court will fix the value of the property at P5.00, conformably to our ruling in People v. Dator.

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Anna May Vallejos 2007-0140

Tan v. People (GR No. 134298)


Facts:

Complainant Rosita Lim is a proprietor engaged in the business of manufacturing propellers or spare parts for boats. She had under her employ petitioner-accused, Manuelito Mendez, but later on left and went home to his province in Negros.

After his employment however, Rosita discovered that some of her inventories in her business, amounting to P48,000, were missing. Suspecting that it was Manuelito who took them, she informed Victor Sy, her nephew, who was in turn Manuelitos uncle.

Acting on the matter, Victor had Manuel arrested and brought to Manila. However, when asked about the incident, Manuel, after admitting the taking of the lost items asked for forgiveness from Rosita and as a result the latter did not file a complaint against him. Instead, she filed a complaint for violation of PD 1612, against Ramon Tan, the petitioner, whom Manuel identified as the person with whom he had sold the stolen items for P13,000. Despite the filing of said complaint, Rosita, however, failed to report the incident of theft with the police authorities.

In the meantime, Rosita, together with the confessed thief Manuelito, and the latters uncle, Victor Sy, all testified for the prosecution. Manuelito testified that it was Mr. Tan who had personally accepted the stolen items and paid him P13,000.

For his part, Ramon Tan, in his Counter-Affidavit, denied all the charges, alleging that while he is engaged in the selling hardware (marine spare parts) he did not buy the stolen spare parts and that he never talked nor met Manuelito. The trial court found him guilty of violating PD 1612. When he appealed, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial courts decision, hence the present appeal. Petitioner argued that the prosecution failed to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt hence he should be acquitted.

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Issue:

Whether or not the prosecution had sufficiently established the elements of fencing as against the petitioner?

Decision: No. Fencing, as defined in Section 2 of P.D. No. 1612 is the act of any person who, with intent to gain for himself or for another, shall buy, receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any manner deal in any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft. The law on fencing does not require the accused to have participated in the criminal design to commit, or to have been in any wise involved in the commission of, the crime of robbery or theft.

Before the enactment of P. D. No. 1612 in 1979, the fence could only be prosecuted as an accessory after the fact of robbery or theft, as the term is defined in Article 19 of the Revised Penal Code, but the penalty was light as it was two (2) degrees lower than that prescribed for the principal. P. D. No. 1612 was enacted to impose heavy penalties on persons who profit by the effects of the crimes of robbery and theft. Evidently, the accessory in the crimes of robbery and theft could be prosecuted as such under the Revised Penal Code or under P.D. No. 1612. However, in the latter case, the accused ceases to be a mere accessory but becomes a principal in the crime of fencing. Otherwise stated, the crimes of robbery and theft, on the one hand, and fencing, on the other, are separate and distinct offenses. The State may thus choose to prosecute him either under the Revised Penal Code or P. D. No. 1612, although the preference for the latter would seem inevitable considering that fencing is malum prohibitum, and P. D. No. 1612 creates a presumption of fencing[9] and prescribes a higher penalty based on the value of the property.

In Dizon-Pamintuan vs. People of the Philippines, we set out the essential elements of the crime of fencing as follows:

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1. A crime of robbery or theft has been committed; 2. The accused, who is not a principal or accomplice in the commission of the crime of robbery or theft, buys, receives, possesses, keeps, acquires, conceals, sells or disposes, or buys and sells, or in any manner deals in any article, item, object or anything of value, which has been derived from the proceeds of the said crime; 3. The accused knows or should have known that the said article, item, object or anything of value has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; and 4. There is on the part of the accused, intent to gain for himself or for another. Consequently, the prosecution must prove the guilt of the accused by establishing the existence of all the elements of the crime charged.

Short of evidence establishing beyond reasonable doubt the existence of the essential elements of fencing, there can be no conviction for such offense. It is an ancient principle of our penal system that no one shall be found guilty of crime except upon proof beyond reasonable doubt (Perez vs. Sandiganbayan, 180 SCRA 9).

In this case, what was the evidence of the commission of theft independently of fencing?

Complainant Rosita Lim testified that she lost certain items and Manuelito Mendez confessed that he stole those items and sold them to the accused. However, Rosita Lim never reported the theft or even loss to the police. She admitted that after Manuelito Mendez, her former employee, confessed to the unlawful taking of the items, she forgave him, and did not prosecute him. Theft is a public crime. It can be prosecuted de oficio, or even without a private As complainant Rosita Lim

complainant, but it cannot be without a victim.

reported no loss, we cannot hold for certain that there was committed a crime of theft. Thus, the first element of the crime of fencing is absent, that is, a crime of robbery or theft has been committed. There was no sufficient proof of the unlawful taking of anothers property. True, witness Mendez admitted in an extra-judicial confession that he sold the boat parts he had pilfered from complainant to petitioner.
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However, an

admission or confession acknowledging guilt of an offense may be given in evidence only against the person admitting or confessing. Even on this, if given extra-judicially, the confessant must have the assistance of counsel; otherwise, the admission would be inadmissible in evidence against the person so admitting. Here, the extra-judicial confession of witness Mendez was not given with the assistance of counsel, hence, inadmissible against the witness. Neither may such extra-judicial confession be considered evidence against accused. There must be corroboration by evidence of corpus delicti to sustain a finding of guilt. Corpus delicti means the body or substance of the crime, and, in its primary sense, refers to the fact that the crime has been actually committed. The essential elements of theft are (1) the taking of personal property; (2) the property belongs to another; (3) the taking away was done with intent of gain; (4) the taking away was done without the consent of the owner; and (5) the taking away is accomplished without violence or intimidation against persons or force upon things (U. S. vs. De Vera, 43 Phil. 1000). In theft, corpus delicti has two elements, namely: (1) that the property was lost by the owner, and (2) that it was lost by felonious taking. In this case, the theft was not proved because complainant Rosita Lim did not complain to the public authorities of the felonious taking of her property. She sought out her former employee Manuelito Mendez, who confessed that he stole certain articles from the warehouse of the complainant and sold them to petitioner. convict, without evidence of corpus delicti. Such confession is insufficient to

What is more, there was no showing at all that the accused knew or should have known that the very stolen articles were the ones sold to him. One is deemed to know a particular fact if he has the cognizance, consciousness or awareness thereof, or is aware of the existence of something, or has the acquaintance with facts, or if he has something within the minds grasp with certitude and clarity. When knowledge of the existence of a particular fact is an element of an offense, such knowledge is established if a person is aware of a high probability of its existence unless he actually believes that it does not exist. On the other hand, the words should know denote the fact that a person of reasonable prudence and intelligence would ascertain the fact in performance of his duty to another or would govern his conduct upon assumption that such fact exists. Knowledge refers to a mental state of awareness about a fact. Since the court cannot penetrate the mind of an accused and state with certainty what is contained therein, it must determine such knowledge with care from the overt acts of that person. And given two equally plausible states of cognition or mental
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awareness, the court should choose the one which sustains the constitutional presumption of innocence.

Without petitioner knowing that he acquired stolen articles, he can not be guilty of fencing.

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Gil Acosta 2008-0085

Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (R.A. 3019)


People v. Arturo F. Pacificador (G.R. No. 139405)
Facts:

Respondent herein, Arturo F. Pacificador was then the Chairman of the Board of the National Shipyard and Steel Corporation (NSSC) , a GOCC and therefore making respondent a public officer.

On Oct. 27, 1988 Pacificador and a certain Jose Marcelo were charged before the Sandiganbayan for violation of R.A. NO. 3019 otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The information alleges that on or about Dec. 6, 1975 to Jan. 6, 1976 Pacificador together with Mr. Marcelo who was then chairman of a private corporation Philippine Smelters Corporation , conspired to cause the transfer and conveyance of parcels of land owned by the NSSC located in Camarines Norte to the private corporation Philippine Smelters Corporation by virtue of a contract of sale. That in relation to that sale the Government was in a serious disadvantage for the contract price of such land was only P 85, 144.50 compared to the fairmarket value of P862,150.

The Deed of sale was registered in the Registry of Deeds of said province on May Dec. 29, 1975

Pacificador main defense was that the crime charged had been extinguished by prescription.

Petitioner argument on the other hand was that the crime was not extinguished first on the ground that R.A. 3019 provides for its own prescription of 15 years. 2nd on the ground that the case should have been deemed discovered only on May 13, 1987, when a complaint was filed with the PCGG, hence the filing to the Sandiganbayan on Oct. 27, 1988 was well within the prescriptive period.Lastly, it is the petitioners contention that respondent effectively prevented the discovery of the offense in such principles of prescription do not apply in this case. way the ordinary

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Issue:

Whether or not the crime has been extinguished by prescription?

Decision:

Yes. The SC answered herein petitioners argument in the negative. First the Sc held that Sec. 2 of Act No. 3326 governs the computation of prescription of offenses defined and penalized by special laws. Wherein it provides that Prescription should begin from the day of the commission of the violation of the law, and if the same be not known at the time from the discovery thereof and institution of judicial proceedings. In other words if the commission of the crime is known, the prescriptive period shall commence to run on the day it was discovered, and the running of the prescriptive period is tolled by the institution of judicial proceeding.

In the case at bar Pacificador allegedly committed the acts from Dec. of 1975 to Jan. of 1976. The Highcourt stated that the provision on R.A. 3019 in which crimes prescribed in 15 years could not be appreciated in this case because it seems to show that prior to the amendment of Sec. 11 of 3019 by B.P. 195 which was approved on March, 1982, the prescriptive period then was only 10 years, wherefore it could not be applied on the ground that such amendment is not favourable to the accused. The SC also held that while petitioners herein allegation of having no knowledge of the crime, well entrenched is the jurisprudential rule that the registration of deeds in the public real registry is a notice thereof to the whole world. All persons are charged with the knowledge of what it contains. Hence, even If the period of prescription is reckoned from Feb. 18, 1977, the crime had already prescribed when the Information in this case was filed with the Sandiganbayan on Oct. 27, 1988.

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Gil Acosta 2008-0085

Rosalia M. Dugayon vs. People (G.R. No. 147333)


Facts:

Petitioner herein was the Assistant Regional Director of DSWD in Region 2. On July 1989 DSWD Region 2 embarked on a project involving the procurement of 19 typewriter. Respondent herein served as the chairman of the Procurement Board in relation to the abovementioned project. The Board prepared the Requisition for Equipment and Supplies (RES) for 19 typewriters, and then after submitted to Regional Director Arafiles for approval which she approved. From the 4 bidders it was San Sebastian Marketing represented by Jessie Callangan, won the bid. After San Sebastian completed its delivery of the 19 machines, supply officer Rogelio Hipolito also a member of the abovementioned board inspected and tested the typewriters and certified that the machines are in compliance with the specifications given by them.

However, upon pos-audit it was discovered that all the 19 typewriters were not brand new but merely rebuilt and reconditioned and thus failing to comply with the specification requirements. The petitioner together with Director Arafiles, Callangan and Hipolito were charged for violation of section 3 ( e ) of the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act. The sandiganbayan adjudged herein petitioner as guilty of the charge hence this petition to the Supreme Court.

Petitioners main contentions are that the elements of conspiracy were not established beyond reasonable ground and that there is no sufficient evidence to prove the alleged crime.

Issue:

Whether or not Petitioner herein is guilty of the charge?

Decision:

Yes. Petitioners contention is untenable first on the issue of conspiracy, the reliance of petitioner to the ARIAS Doctrine must be answered in the
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negative. Petitioners contention that all heads of offices have to rely to a reasonable extent on their subordinate and on the good faith of those who prepare bids, purchase supplies, or enter into negotiations When however, that infraction consists in the reliance in good faith, albeit misplaced, by a head of office on a subordinate upon whom the primary responsibility rests, absent a clear sense of conspiracy, the Arias doctrine must be held to prevail. Petitioner cannot seek refuge in the cases of Magsuci and Arias when she relied on the recommendations of her subordinates. Petitioner is an Assistant Regional Director, not the head of office or the final approving authority whom the Arias doctrine is applicable.

In relation to the second issue of sufficiency of evidence, the Supreme Court elucidated the main elements of the crime provided for in sec. 3 R.A. NO. 3019 corrupt practices of officers, these are 1. The accused are public officers or private persons charged in conspiracy with them 2. Said public officers commit the prohibited acts during the performance of their official duties as in relation to their public position. 3. They caused undue injury to any party, whether the government or a private party 4. Such injury is caused by giving unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference to such parties; and 5. The public officers have acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. These requisites being attendant in this case, the SC held that indeed Petitioner is guilty with the crime.

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Gil Acosta 2008-0085

Arturo A. Mejorada vs. Sandiganbayan (G.R. Nos. L-51065-72)


Facts:

Petitioner herein Arturo Mejorda is a public officer, connected with the Office of the Highway District Engineer of Pasig. His position in said office was a right of way agent of which his main duty was to negotiate property owners affected by highway constructions for the purpose of compensating them for damages incurred by said owners

Sometime in Oct. or Nov. of 1977, Mejorada approached herein private respondents and informed them that he could work out their claims for the value of their lots and improvements affected by the widening of a certain highway in Pasig oh which their properties would be damaged in a certain way. Mejorada required said owners to sign blank copies of Sworn Statement on the Correct and Fair Market Value of the Real Properties and Agreement to Demolish. Remove, and Reconstruct improvements. However Mejorada for his part made it appear that the value of the respective properties were much higher than the actual price claimed by the owners. Furthermore Mejorada , in relation to the improvements made it appear that the declarations of Property are not really intended for the claimants as they were registered in the names of other persons.

On the date on which the claims were to be encashed by herein private respondents, Mejorada accompanied them and personally assisted in the process of signing and encashing the checks. Right after the claimants received the cash, accused Mejorada accompanied them to his car were they were divested of the cash and was given only the sum of P1,000.00 , stating to them that there were many who would share in said amounts. All the claimants were helpless to complaint because they were afraid o0f the accused and his armed companions. Thus the complainants filed a case against herein Petitioner Mejorada for violation of Section 3 ( e ) of R.A. 3019 the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act

For his defense the main contention of the accused is that the element of damage to the parties must have caused by the public officer in the discharge of
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his official functions, in as much as when the damage to the complainants, he was no longer discharging his official duties, therefore he is not liable for the charge. Furthermore it was also the argument of the petitioner herein that the evidence adduced by the prosecution is not the violation of R.A. 3019 but that of robbery.

Issue:

Whether or not Mejorada could be prosecuted of the crime punishable under Section 3 ( e ) of R.A. 3019?

Decision:

Yes. The SC Held that the first argument of the petitioner as stated above is devoid of merit. It was clearly established that the petitioner took advantage of his position as right of way agent by making the claimants sign the aforementioned agreements to demolish and sworn statements which contained falsified declarations of the value of the improvements and lots. There was

evident bad faith on the part of Mejorada when he inflated the values of the true claims and when he divested the claimants of a large share of the amounts due them.

The SC also answered the second argument of herein petitioner in the negative. The High Court stated that it was duly proven that through badfaith, petitioner cased damage to the claimants and the Government. The Manner by which the petitioner divested the private individuals of the compensation they received was part of the scheme which commenced when the petitioner approached the claimants and informed them that he could work out their claims for payment of the values of their lots and improvements affected by the widening of the highway. The evidence clearly establish a violation of Section 3 ( e ) of R.A. 3019

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Lourizza Genabe 2008-0154

Anti-Highway Robbery (P.D. 532)


People v. Pascual (G.R. No. 132870)
Facts:

On January 16, 1992, two men alighted from a taxi cab parked near a dead-end in Purok Maligaya. Arnold Nuarin, the driver, came out of the cab asking for help as he had been stabbed. Nuarin's body was found by Andro Paglinawan's group and they saw two men escaping. They ran after the two men and caught Olegario Pascual. A bloody balisong knife was found in his

possession. Investigation revealed that Nuarin was robbed by Pascual and another person identified as Johnny Bonglay. Nuarin was later stabbed who consequently died.

Pascual was found guilty of the crime of violation of P.D. 532 or the Antihighway Robbery Law. He appealed the decision.

Issue:

Whether or not Pascual is guilty of the violation of the Anti-Highway Robbery Law?

Decision:

The court ruled that Pasual is liable for the crime of robbery with homicide and not of the violation of P.D. 532. For a person to be convicted for highway robbery, it is required that there must be an organization of a group of persons for the purpose of committing indiscriminate robbery. In the present case, no proof was shown that a group was organized by Pascual and Bonglay to commit the robbery. P.D. 532 punishes the commission of robbery of persons who travel from one place to another, disturbing peace. In this case, there was a single act of robbery and homicide committed by the accused.

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Lourizza Genabe 2008-0154

People v. Reanzares (G.R. No. 130656)


Facts:

On May 10, 1994, Gregorio and Lilia Tactacan were on board their passenger jeepney on their way to San Roque, Batangas from San Miguel, Batangas. Two unidentified men climbed their vehicle. One pointed a revolver at Gregorio and the other a balisong on Lilia's neck. They were asked to pull over. Once they pulled over, 2 more persons, one identified as Armando Reanzares, approached the vehicle. Gregorio was gagged and blindfolded by one of the culprits. His hands and feet were tied and his Seiko watch was taken. While the vehicle was driven by one of the accused, he heard his wife beg for mercy and cry in pain. After which, he was told not to move, then the culprits left. He untied himself and ran for help. When he returned to the jeep, he found his wife in the passenger's seat, bloody and her bag containing their earnings gone.

An Information for violation of P.D. 532 and another Information for violation of R.A. 6539 were filed against Reanzares. The Trial court found him guilty of Highway Robbery with homicide and Reanzares appealed.

Issue:

Whether

or

not

the

accused

is

liable

for

highway

robbery?

Decision:

The court held that the accused is not liable for highway robbery but of the special complex crime of robbery with homicide. For conviction under P.D. 532 to prosper, proof that several accused organized for the purpose of committing indiscriminate robbery must be established. There was no proof, in this case, showing that there was organization by several persons to commit this purpose. There was only the establishment of a single act of robbery which is not contemplated under the law.

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Lourizza Genabe 2008-0154

People v. Cerbito (G.R. No. 126397)


Facts:

On September 3, 1992, four men identified to be Daniel Mendoza Cerbito, Vicente Mendoza Acedera, Jimboy Cerbito Morales, and John Doe boarded a Philippine Rabbit Bus at Eurobake. Daniel Cerbito, armed with a gun,

announced the hold-up. The four armed men proceeded to seize the passengers of their money and belongings. A passenger, who happened to be a policeman, was shot by one of the accused and, as a consequence, died.

The Trial Court found the accused guilty of violation of P.D. 532 and of homicide. It was appealed to the Supreme Court.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused are guilty of violation of the Anti-Highway Robbery Law?

Decision:

The Court ruled that accused are guilty of highway robbery/brigandage under Section 2(e) of P.D. 532. As defined by law, brigandage is the taking of the property of another using violence against or intimidation of persons or other unlawful means. It is committed by any person against another on any Philippine Highway. It must also be directed against any prospective victims and not only against specific victims. In this case, the elements of highway robbery were proven and present thus the accused are guilty of violation of P.D. 532.

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Christine Perez 2006-0104

Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act


People v. Bongcarawan (384 SCRA 525)
Facts:

Basher Bongcarawan was charged in violation of Sec. 16, Art. III of RA 6425 otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 as amended by RA 7659. On march 11, 1999 in M/V Ferry 5, a woman whom he recognized as his co-passenger at cabin no. 106 together with 5 members of the vessel security force came and told him that he was suspected of stealing jewelry and was requested by the security to open his suitcase. Thereafter, a brown bag and small plastic packs containing white crystalline substance was found inside his suitcase. When asked about the articles, the accused explained that he was just requested by a certain Alex Macapudi to bring the suitcase to the latters brother in Iligan City. Trial Court held that accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt and imposes the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua.

Issue:

Whether or not the drug confiscated is admissible in evidence against the accused-appelant?

Decision:

The accused-appellant contends that the Samsonite suitcase containing the methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu" was forcibly opened and searched without his consent, and hence, in violation of his constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure. Any evidence acquired pursuant to such unlawful search and seizure, he claims, is inadmissible in evidence against him. He also contends thatPeople v. Marti is not applicable in this case because a vessel security personnel is deemed to perform the duties of a policeman.

In a prosecution for illegal possession of dangerous drugs, the following facts must be proven beyond reasonable doubt, viz: (1) that the accused is in possession of the object identified as a prohibited or a regulated drug; (2) that
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such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) that the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug.

It has been ruled that possession of dangerous drugs constitutes prima facie evidence of knowledge or animus possidendi sufficient to convict an accused in the absence of a satisfactory explanation of such possession. Hence, the burden of evidence is shifted to the accused to explain the absence of knowledge or animus possidendi.

The things in possession of a person are presumed by law to be owned by him. To overcome this presumption, it is necessary to present clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. In this case, the accused points to a certain Alican "Alex" Macapudi as the owner of the contraband, but presented no evidence to support his claim.

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Christine Perez 2006-0104

Suson v. People (494 SCRA 691)


Facts:

After conducting a surveillance, the Narcotic Team together with the Danao City Police Station conducted a buy-bust operation on Teresita Susons house, Fortich was arrested and on the same date police authorities were able to apprehend Suson and recovered the marked bills used in the said buy-bust operation.

3 cases were tried jointly in Branch 25, RTC of Danao City. Petitioners Suson and Fortich were charged with violation of sec.15, Art. 3 in relation to Sec. 21, Art. 4 of RA 6425 otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. Also, Petitioner Suson together with Andres Camargo were charged with Illegal Possession of Shabu and Illegal Possession of Firearm.

Petitioners contend that there was no buy0bust and evidence of shabu and firearms allegedly confiscated in their house was planted. Trial court rendered a decision that Petitioners Suson and Fortich is guilty of the crime of illegal sale of shabu. However, acquits Suson and Andres Camargo of the crime of illegal possession of shabu and firearms due to lack of sufficient evidence. CA affirmed the RTCs decision. Hence, this case.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioners are guilty of the crime charged?

Decision:

A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment which has repeatedly been accepted to be a valid means of arresting violators of the Dangerous Drugs Law. In every prosecution for illegal sale of prohibited or regulated drugs, the following elements must be established: (1) the identity of the buyer and seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.

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The recording of marked money used in a buy-bust operation is not one of the elements for the prosecution of sale of illegal drugs. The recording or nonrecording thereof in an official record will not necessarily lead to an acquittal as long as the sale of the prohibited drug is adequately proven. In the case at bar, SPO2 Patio, the poseur-buyer, testified on the circumstances regarding the sale of the shabu for which petitioners were charged and convicted.

Settled is the rule that in the prosecution for the sale of dangerous drugs, the absence of marked money does not create a hiatus in the evidence for the prosecution as long as the sale of dangerous drugs is adequately proven and the drug subject of the transaction is presented before the court. Neither law nor jurisprudence requires the presentation of any money used in the buy-bust operation What is material to a prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti as evidence. In the instant case, both were sufficiently shown by the prosecution.

Petitioners deny that a buy-bust operation took place and claim that the evidence against them is planted evidence. Denial is a weak form of defense, particularly when it is not substantiated by clear and convincing evidence just like in the case before us.

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Christine Perez 2006-0104

People v. Lagata (404 SCRA 671)


Facts:

Edelma Lagata was accused of having in her possession and control of shabu. Upon arraignment, she pleaded not guilty. Accused-Appellant does not deny the fact that at the time of her arrest she was in possession of the package which turned out to contain shabu. But she denied knowledge of the contents of the package handed to her by the unidentified man. Trial Court rendered accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of violation of RA 6425 as amended by RA 7659.

Issue:

Whether appellant is guilty of the crime charged against her?

Decision:

For one to be convicted of illegal possession of prohibited or regulated drugs, the following elements must concur: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug.

The prosecution failed to prove that she had knowledge of the contents of the package. Thus, it cannot be said that she was caught in flagrante delicto, since she was not consciously committing a crime when the NBI agents accosted her.

We have held that possession of illegal drugs must be with knowledge of the accused or that animus possidendi existed together with the possession or control of said articles. Knowledge refers to a mental state of awareness of a fact. Animus possidendi, as a state of mind, may be determined on a case-tocase basis by taking into consideration the prior or contemporaneous acts of the accused, as well as the surrounding circumstances. Its existence may and usually must be inferred from the attendant events in each particular case.
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Under the facts and circumstances obtaining in this case, we find that appellants explanation of how she came into possession of the package without knowing that it contained shabu is credible and sufficient to rebut the prima facie presumption of animus possidendi.

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Heide Olarte-Congson 2007-0316

Illegal Possession of Firearms/Explosives Law (R.A. 8294)


Sayco v. People (G.R. No. 159703)
Facts:

Sayco a confidential civilian agent of the AFP was found guilty of illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions under the provisions of PD 1866 as amended by RA 8294. Sayco committed the crime by possessing and carrying a 9MM caliber with 14 live ammunitions while in Bais City visiting and attending to a family emergency. The court found him guilty as charged on the ground that that the possession and carrying of the aforementioned firearm and ammunitions was without proper license and authority. Sayco, without denying possession of the same, insisted that he had the requisite permits for having been issued a Memorandum Receipt and a Mission Order by the Commanding Officer of the Philippine Army. However, the court said that Memorandum Receipts and

Mission Orders do not constitute the license required by law for these were not issued by the PNP Firearms and Explosives Unit, who is the one authorized by law to issue the required license. Furthermore, it has been pointed out that Saycos reliance in good faith on the said documents is not a valid defense in the crime of illegal possession of firearms.

RTC affirmed the conviction but lowered the penalty imposed.

CA

likewise denied Saycos petition for review as well as its Motion for Reconsideration, hence this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the Memorandum Receipt and Mission Order constitute sufficient authority to possess and carry firearms and ammunitions required by PD 1866 as amended by RA 8294.

Decision:

No, they are not, for it is a settled jurisprudence that a memorandum receipt and mission order cannot take the place of a duly issued firearms license
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and an accused who relies on said documents cannot invoke good faith as a defense against a prosecution for illegal possession of firearms as this is a malum prohibitum. The corpus delicti in the crime of illegal possession of firearms is the accused's lack of license or permit to possess or carry the firearm, as possession itself is not prohibited by law. To establish the corpus delicti, the prosecution has the burden of proving that the firearm exists and that the accused who owned or possessed it does not have the corresponding license or permit to possess or carry the same.

Sayco, a mere confidential civilian agent (as defined under Section 6(a) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of P.D. No. 1866) is not authorized to receive the subject government-owned firearm and ammunitions. The

memorandum receipt he signed to account for said government properties did not legitimize his possession thereof. Neither was Sayco authorized to bear the subject firearm and ammunitions outside of his residence. The mission order issued to petitioner was illegal, given that he is not a regular civilian agent but a mere confidential civilian agent. Worse, he was not even acting as such confidential civilian agent at the time he was carrying the subject firearm and ammunitions. While this Court sustains the conviction for illegal possession of firearms, a further revision of the penalty is warranted in view of the special provision in the Indeterminate Sentence Law applicable to crimes penalized by a special law. RA 8294, amending PD 1866, lowered the penalty to be imposed provided no other crime was committed.

There being no attendant mitigating or aggravating circumstance, and considering that Sayco accepted the subject firearm and ammunitions from the government under the erroneous notion that the memorandum receipt and mission order issued to him legitimized the possession thereof, Sayco is sentenced to serve an indeterminate penalty of four (4) years, two (2) months and one (1) day of prision correccional as minimum, to five (5) years, four (4) months and twenty-one (21) days of prision correccional as maximum.

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Heide Olarte-Congson 2007-0316

People v. Comadre (G.R. No. 153559)


Facts:

Comadre et al. were charged with Murder with Multiple Frustrated Murder through conspiracy, treachery, and use of an explosive. The accused

committed the crime by lobbing a hand grenade over the roof of the house of the Agbanlogs that eventually exploded, killing Robert Agbanlog and injuring 6 others. After trial, the court a quo convicted Comadre et al. of the complex crime of Murder with Multiple Attempted Murder sentencing them to suffer the penalty of death, hence this automatic review.

When the killing is perpetrated with treachery and by means of explosives, the latter shall be considered as a qualifying circumstance. Not only does jurisprudence support this view but also, since the use of explosives is the principal mode of attack, reason dictates that this attendant circumstance should qualify the offense instead of treachery, which will then be relegated merely as a generic aggravating circumstance.

Incidentally, with the enactment on June 6, 1997 of Republic Act No. 8294 which also considers the use of explosives as an aggravating circumstance, there is a need to make the necessary clarification insofar as the legal implications of the said amendatory law vis--vis the qualifying circumstance of by means of explosion under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code are concerned. Corollary thereto is the issue of which law should be applied in the instant case. R.A. 8294 was enacted, to lower their penalties (as conspicuously reflected in the reduction of the corresponding penalties for illegal possession of firearms, or ammunitions and other related crimes under the amendatory law including the penalties for unlawful possession of explosives) in order to rationalize them into more acceptable and realistic levels, and this is therefore favorable to the accused. Specifically, when the illegally possessed explosives are used to commit any of the crimes under the Revised Penal Code, which result in the death of a person, the penalty is no longer death, unlike in P.D. No. 1866, but it shall be considered only as an aggravating circumstance. Congress likewise clearly intended RA No. 8294 to consider as aggravating circumstance, instead of a separate offense, illegal possession of firearms and
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explosives when such possession is used to commit other crimes under the Revised Penal Code. It must be made clear, however, that RA No. 8294 did not amend the definition of murder under Article 248, but merely made the use of explosives an aggravating circumstance when resorted to in committing any of the crimes defined in the Revised Penal Code. The legislative purpose is to do away with the use of explosives as a separate crime and to make such use merely an aggravating circumstance in the commission of any crime already defined in the Revised Penal Code. Thus, RA No. 8294 merely added the use of unlicensed explosives as one of the aggravating circumstances specified in Article 14 of the Revised Penal Code. Like the aggravating circumstance of explosion in paragraph 12, evident premeditation in paragraph 13, or treachery in paragraph 16 of Article 14, the new aggravating circumstance added by RA No. 8294 does not change the definition of murder in Article 248.

Issue:

Whether or not the killing be qualified by explosion under Art. 248 of the Revised Penal Code or by the use of an explosive under the provisions of RA 8294?

Decision:

R.A. 8294 is inapplicable in the instant case and thus what may be properly considered, the accused-appellant having been sufficiently informed of the nature of the accusation against them, the crime is Murder committed by means of explosion in accordance with Article 248 (3) of the Revised Penal Code.

R.A. No. 8294, even though favorable to the accused, cannot be made applicable in this case because before the use of unlawfully possessed explosives can be properly appreciated as an aggravating circumstance, it must be adequately established that the possession was illegal or unlawful, i.e., the accused is without the corresponding authority or permit to possess. This follows the same requisites in the prosecution of crimes involving illegal possession of firearm, which is a kindred or related offense under P.D. 1866, as amended. This proof does not obtain in the present case. Not only was it not alleged in the information, no evidence was also adduced by the prosecution to show that the possession by Comadre of the explosive was unlawful. What the
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law emphasizes is the acts lack of authority. What is per se aggravating is the use of unlawfully manufactured or possessed explosives. The mere use of explosives is not.

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Heide Olarte-Congson 2007-0316

People v. Tadeo (G.R. Nos. 127660 & 144011-12)


Facts: Michael Tadeo was charged of 3 distinct and separate crimes of 1) murder for the fatal shooting of Mayolito Cabatu, 2) frustrated murder for the injury sustained by Florencia, and 3) qualified illegal possession of firearm, same firearm having been used in the two (2) formerly mentioned crimes.

After trial, the court a quo convicted Tadeo of the crimes charged and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua for murder; an indeterminate prison term of ten (10) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum, to fourteen (14) years, ten (10) months and twenty (20) days of reclusion temporal as maximum, for frustrated murder; reclusion perpetua for qualified illegal possession of firearms.

Tadeo appealed not to challenge the finding of the trial court that he killed Mayolito Cabatu and injured his mother Florencia Cabatu, nor that he was the possessor of the .38 cal. revolver, but questions among others his conviction of the crime of illegal possession of firearms despite the absence of any evidence indicating that the gun he used was unlicensed.

The Solicitor General agrees with Tadeo that his verdict in the qualified illegal possession of firearm is incorrect hence must be reversed and set aside.

Issue:

Whether or not the conviction for qualified illegal possession of firearms is proper?

Decision:

The conviction of Tadeo in the case for qualified illegal possession firearm used in perpetrating the homicide and attempted homicide must be reversed and set aside, as a result of the decriminalization of violations of PD 1866 by RA 8294 where the unlicensed firearm is used in carrying out the commission of
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other crimes. These amendments obviously blur the distinctions between murder and homicide on one hand, and qualified illegal possession of firearms used in murder or homicide on the other. We have declared that the formulation in RA 8294, i.e., "[i]f homicide or murder is committed with the use of an unlicensed firearm, such use of an unlicensed firearm shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance," signifies a legislative intent to treat as a single offense the illegal possession of firearms and the commission of murder or homicide with the use of an unlicensed firearm. Thus where an accused used an unlicensed firearm in committing homicide or murder, he may no longer be charged with what used to be the two (2) separate offenses of homicide or murder under The Revised Penal Code and qualified illegal possession of firearms used in homicide or murder under PD 1866; in other words, where murder or homicide was committed, the penalty for illegal possession of firearms is no longer imposable since it becomes merely a special aggravating circumstance.

The use of an unlicensed firearm cannot be considered however as a special aggravating circumstance in the Murder Case and Frustrated Murder Case. For one, it was not alleged as an aggravating circumstance in

the Informations for murder and frustrated murder, which is necessary under our present Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Moreover, even if alleged, the circumstance cannot be retroactively applied to prejudice accused-appellant; it must be stressed that RA 8294 took effect only on 6 July 1994 while the crimes involved herein were committed on 4 November 1993. In any event there is no evidence proving the illicit character of the .38 cal. revolver used by accusedappellant in killing Mayolito Cabatu and in trying to kill Florencia Cabatu, as to which requisite of the crime the record is eerily silent.

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Jasmine Calaycay 2005-0049

Anti Fencing Law (P.D. 1612)


Francisco v. People (G.R. No. 146584)
Facts:

Jovita Rodriguez was engaged in business as a general contractor. Macario Linghon was one of her workers. She and her husband acquired several pieces of jewelry which were placed inside a locked cabinet in a locked room in their main house. Pacita Linghon, Macarios sister, was hired as one of their household helpers sometime in February 1989. Pacita swept and cleaned the room periodically. However, she left the employ of the Rodriguez family, sometime in May 1991.

Sometime in October 1991, Pacita contacted her brother Macario and asked him to sell some pieces of jewelry owned by a friend of hers. Macario agreed and went to the shop of petitioner Ernesto "Erning" Francisco in Meycauayan, Bulacan. Macario offered to sell to Ernesto two rings and one bracelet where Ernesto agreed to buy the jewelry and paid the amount of P25,000 to Macario. Another transaction happened in November 199 where Macario offered to sell to Ernesto a pair of earrings for P18,000. The latter agreed and paid Macario said amount. After these transactions, Macario saw the petitioner in his shop for about five to six more times and received some amounts.

Sometime in November 1991, Jovita was shocked when she found out that the box containing her jewelry was empty. She noticed that the lock to the cabinet was not broken. Among the pieces of jewelry missing were one pair of diamond heart-shaped earrings worth P400,000; one heart-shaped diamond ring worth P100,000; one white gold bracelet with diamond stones worth P150,000; and one ring with a small diamond stone worth P5,000. She suspected that it was Pacita who stole her jewelry.

Jovita filed a complaint for theft against Pacita and her mother Adoracion Linghon. Police investigators invited Pacita and Adoracion to Camp Crame, Quezon City, for investigation. Pacita arrived in Camp Crame without counsel
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and gave a sworn statement pointing to the petitioner as the person to whom she sold Jovitas jewelry. Thus, petitioner was invited for questioning in Camp Crame. Nonetheless, Pacita was charged with qualified theft and Adoracion was also charged with violating P.D. No. 1612 (Anti-Fencing Law).

A criminal complaint against the petitioner for violation of P.D. No. 1612 was filed. During the preliminary investigation, Pacita and Macario testified that they sold pieces of jewelry to the petitioner at his shop in Meycauayan, Bulacan. The court found probable cause against the petitioner, and issued a warrant for his arrest. Thereafter, an Information was filed with the RTC charging the

petitioner with violating P.D. No. 1612.

Judgment was rendered finding Pacita guilty of theft and Adoracion guilty of fencing under P.D. No. 1612, beyond reasonable doubt.

While the trial court rendered judgment finding the petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating P.D. No. 1612, which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court and the Court of Appeals erred in finding the petitioner guilty for violation of the Presidential Decree No. 1612, otherwise known as the Anti-Fencing Law?

Decision:

The essential elements of the crime of fencing are as follows: (1) a crime of robbery or theft has been committed; (2) the accused, who is not a principal or accomplice in the commission of the crime of robbery or theft, buys, receives, possesses, keeps, acquires, conceals, sells or disposes, or buys and sells, or in any manner deals in any article, item, object or anything of value, which has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; (3) the accused knew or should have shown that the said article, item, object or anything of value has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; and, (4) there is, on the part of the accused, intent to gain for himself or for another.
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In the absence of direct evidence that the accused had knowledge that the jewelry was stolen, the prosecution is burdened to prove facts and circumstances from which it can be concluded that the accused should have known that the property sold to him were stolen. This requirement serves two basic purposes: (a) to prove one of the elements of the crime of fencing; and, (b) to enable the trial court to determine the imposable penalty for the crime, since the penalty depends on the value of the property.

Fencing is malum prohibitum, and P.D. No. 1612 creates a prima facie presumption of fencing from evidence of possession by the accused of any good, article, item, object or anything of value which has been the subject of robbery or theft, and prescribes a higher penalty based on the value of the property. The stolen property subject of the charge is not indispensable to prove fencing. It is merely corroborative of the testimonies and other evidence adduced by the prosecution to prove the crime of fencing.

The Decision of the Court of Appeals in affirming the Decision of the trial court is reversed and set aside. The petitioner is acquitted of the crime of violating P.D. No. 1612 for the prosecutions failure to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

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Miguel Paolo Soliman 2010-0204

Anti-Bouning Checks Law (B.P. 22)


Marigomen v. People (G.R. No. 153451)
Facts:

Petitioner was the finance officer of INSURECO, who was granted a credit line to purchase gasoline and lubricants from Caltex. The latter has agreed to accept post dated checks from INSURECO to pay for its purchases from them. When presented to the bank, they were dishonoured by reason of being drawn against insufficient funds and account closed, respectively.

Issue:

Whether or not respondent is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating B.P. 22?

Decision:

For violation of B.P. 22 to be committed, the prosecution must prove the following essential elements: (1) the making, drawing, and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value; (2) the knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue there are no sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment; and (3) the subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment.

It is difficult for the prosecution to prove the second element of the crime because the knowledge on the part of the maker, drawer or issuer that at the time of issue he does not have sufficient funds or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such checks in full upon its presentation is a state of the mind. However, Section 2 of B.P. 22 provides that if the prosecution proves that the making, drawing and issuing of a check, payment of which is refused by the drawee bank because of insufficiency of funds or credit with the said bank within 90 days from the date of the check, such shall be prima facie evidence of the
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second element of the crime. The drawee or maker of the check may overcome the prima facie evidence, either by paying the amount of the check, or by making arrangements for its payment in full within five banking days after receipt of notice that such check was not paid by the drawee bank.

The ruling of the Court in Lao v. Court of Appeals is applicable in this case. In acquitting the petitioner therein, the Court explained that this statute actually offers the violator a compromise by allowing him to perform some act, which operates to preempt the criminal action, and if he opts to perform it the action is abated. In this light, the full payment of the amount appearing in the check within five banking days from notice of dishonor is a complete defense. The absence of a notice of dishonor necessarily deprives an accused an opportunity to preclude a criminal prosecution. Accordingly, procedural due

process clearly enjoins that a notice of dishonor be actually served on the petitioner. The petitioner has a right to demand and the basic postulates of fairness require - that the notice of dishonor be actually sent to and received by her to afford her the opportunity to avert prosecution under B.P. 22.

Moreover, the notice of dishonor must be in writing; a verbal notice is not enough. This is because while Section 2 of B.P. 22 does not state that the notice of dishonor be in writing, taken in conjunction, however, with Section 3 of the law, i.e., that where there are no sufficient funds in or credit with such drawee bank, such fact shall always be explicitly stated in the notice of dishonor or refusal, a mere oral notice or demand to pay would appear to be insufficient for conviction under the law. The Court is convinced that both the spirit and letter of the

Bouncing Checks Law would require for the act to be punished thereunder not only that the accused issued a check that is dishonored, but that likewise the accused has actually been notified in writing of the fact of dishonor. The

consistent rule is that penal statutes have to be construed strictly against the State and liberally in favor of the accused.

Thus, if the drawer or maker is an officer of a corporation, the notice of dishonor to the said corporation is not notice to the employee or officer who drew or issued the check for and in its behalf. The Court explained in Lao v. Court of Appeals, that there was no obligation to forward the notice addressed to it to the employee concerned, especially because the corporation itself incurs no criminal liability under BP 22 for the issuance of a bouncing check. Responsibility under B.P. 22 is personal to the accused; hence, personal knowledge of the notice of
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dishonor is necessary. Consequently, constructive notice to the corporation is not enough to satisfy due process. Moreover, it is the petitioner, as an officer of the corporation, who is the latters agent for purposes of receiving notices and other documents, and not the other way around. It is but axiomatic that notice to the corporation, which has a personality distinct and separate from the petitioner, does not constitute notice to the latter.

In this case, the prosecution failed to present any employee of the PT&T to prove that the telegrams from the offended party were in fact transmitted to INSURECO and that the latter received the same. Furthermore, there is no

evidence on record that the petitioner ever received the said telegrams from INSURECO, or that separate copies thereof were transmitted to and received by the petitioner. In fine, the respondent failed to prove the second element of the crime. Hence, the petitioner should be acquitted of the crimes charged.

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Miguel Paolo Soliman 2010-0204

Sycip v. CA (328 SCRA 447)


Facts:

Petitioner agreed to buy, on installment, from FRC, a townhouse unit in the latters project at Cavite. Upon execution of the contract to sell, as required, issued to FRC, 48 postdated checks, each in the amount of Php 9,304.00, covering 48 monthly installments.

After moving in his unit, petitioner complained, to FRC regarding defects in the unit and incomplete features of the townhouse project. FRC ignored the complaint. Dissatisfied, Sycip served on FRC two 2 notorial notices to the effect that he was suspending his installment payments on the unit pending compliance with the project plans and specifications, as approved by the HLURB. Petitioner filed a complaint with the HLURB. The complaint was dismissed as to the defect, but FRC was ordered by the HLURB to finish all incomplete features of its townhouse project. Sycip appealed the dismissal of the complaint as to the alleged defects.

Notwithstanding the notorial notices, FRC continued to present for encashment petitioners postdated checks in its possession. Petitioner sent stop payment orders to the bank. When FRC continued to present the other postdated checks to the bank as the due date fell, the bank advised petitioner to close his checking account to avoid paying bank charges every time he made a stop payment order on the forthcoming checks. Due to the closure of petitioners checking account, the drawee bank dishonored six postdated checks. FRC file a complaint against petitioner for violations of B.P. Blg. 22 involving said dishonored checks.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner is liable for violation of B.P. 22?

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Decision:

Under the provisions of the Bouncing Checks Law (B.P. No. 22), an offense is committed when the following elements are present:

(1) the making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value (2) the knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment; and (4) the subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment.

In this case, the Court found that although the first element of the offense exists, the other elements have not been established beyond reasonable doubt.

To begin with, the second element involves knowledge on the part of the issuer at the time of the check's issuance that he did not have enough funds or credit in the bank for payment thereof upon its presentment. B.P. No. 22 creates a presumption juris tantum that the second element prima facie exists when the first and third elements of the offense are present. But such evidence may be rebutted. If not rebutted or contradicted, it will suffice to sustain a judgment in favor of the issue, which it supports. As pointed out by the Solicitor General, such knowledge of the insufficiency of petitioner's funds "is legally presumed from the dishonor of his checks for insufficiency of funds." But such presumption cannot hold if there is evidence to the contrary. In this case, we find that the other party has presented evidence to contradict said presumption. Hence, the prosecution is duty bound to prove every element of the offense charged, and not merely rely on a rebuttable presumption.

Admittedly, what are involved here are postdated checks. Postdating simply means that on the date indicated on its face, the check would be properly funded, not that the checks should be deemed as issued only then. The checks in this case were issued at the time of the signing of the Contract to Sell in August 1989. But we find from the records no showing that the time said checks were issued, petitioner had knowledge that his deposit or credit in the bank would be insufficient to cover them when presented for encashment. On the contrary, there
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is testimony by petitioner that at the time of presentation of the checks, he had P150,000.00 cash or credit with Citibank.

To rely on the presumption created by B.P. No. 22 as the prosecution did in this case, would be to misconstrue the import of requirements for conviction under the law. It must be stressed that every element of the offense must be proved beyond reasonable doubt, never presumed. Furthermore, penal statutes are strictly construed against the State and liberally in favor of the accused. Under the Bouncing Checks Law, the punishable act must come clearly within both the spirit and letter of the statute.

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Miguel Paolo Soliman 2010-0204

Recuerdo v. People (G.R. No. 133036)


Facts:

Petitoner was found guilty in violation of BP 22 where out of the 9 checks she issued as payment for the jewelry she bought from Yolanda Floro, 5 were dishonored by the bank. A demand letter was sent to her and upon failure to make payments, a complaint was filed by which she was found guilty. On petition for certiorari, she contends that BP 22 is unconstitutional.

Issue:

Whether or not B.P. 22 is unconstitutional?

Decision:

A check issued as an evidence of debt, though not intended for encashment, has the same effect like any other check. It is within the contemplation of B.P. 22, which is explicit that any person who makes or draws and issues any check to apply for an account or for value, knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank x x x which check is subsequently dishonored x x x shall be punished by imprisonment.

B.P. 22 does not appear to concern itself with what might actually be envisioned by the parties, its primordial intention being to instead ensure the stability and commercial value of checks as being virtual substitutes for currency. It is a policy that can be easily eroded if one has yet to determine the reason for which checks are issued, or the terms and conditions for their issuance, before an appropriate application of the legislative enactment can be made

It is not required much less indispensable, for the prosecution to present the drawee banks representative as a witness to testify on the dishonor of the checks because of insufficiency of funds. The prosecution may present, as it did in this case, only complainant as a witness to prove all the elements of the
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offense charged. She is competent and qualified witness to testify that she deposited the checks to her account in a bank; that she subsequently received from the bank the checks returned unpaid with a notation drawn against insufficient funds stamped or written on the dorsal side of the checks themselves, or in a notice attached to the dishonored checks duly given to the complainant, and that petitioner failed to pay complainant the value of the checks or make arrangements for their payment in full within five (5) banking days after receiving notice that such checks had not been paid by the drawee bank.

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Winny Mahor 2008-0306

Art. 294(B): Robbery with Rape


People v. Moreno
Facts:

Accused Moreno, Deloria and Maniquez robbed the Mohnani spouses. Deloria raped househelp Narcisa while Maniquez raped househelp Mary Ann. Moreno was convicted of robbery while Deloria and Maniquez, robbery with rape.

Issue:

Whether the court erred in ruling that Moreno was guilty of the crime of robbery only?

Decision:

No, the ruling of the court is correct. Moreno took no part in the rape thus he is guilty of robbery only.

The special complex crime of robbery with rape defined in Article 293 in relation to paragraph 2 of Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, employs the clause "when the robbery shall have been accompanied with rape." In other words, to be liable for such crime, the offender must have the intent to take the personal property of another under circumstances that makes the taking one of robbery, and such intent must precede the rape. If the original plan was to commit rape, but the accused after committing the rape also committed robbery when the opportunity presented itself, the robbery should be viewed as a separate and distinct crime.

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Winny Mahor 2008-0306

People v. Domingo (383 SCRA 43)


Facts:

Appellant Domingo Temporal, Pedro, Valdez, and Rivera went to the house of Spouses Valentin and Clara Gabertan, armed with a piece of bamboo, 2x2 piece of wood, ipil-ipil posts and bolo, They assaulted and clubbed Valentin with their weapons, weakening and injuring him. Eventually they stole from the Gabertan spouses cash in the amount of P5,350.00, 1 ladies gold Seiko watch, 9 turkeys, and 2 chickens. Thereafter, while Rivera guarded Valentin, the four accused took turns in raping Carla outside the house where she was forcibly laid on the cogon grass. RTC found appellant guilty of robbery with multiple rape.

Issue:

Whether accused is guilty of robbery with multiple accounts of rape or just robbery with rape under Article 294(b)?

Decision:

The RTC erred in ruling that the accused is guilty of robbery with multiple rapes. He should have been convicted of the crime under Art. 294(b) that is robbery with rape.

In the special complex crime of robbery with rape, the true intent of the accused must first be determined, because their intent determines the offense they committed. To sustain a conviction for robbery with rape, it is imperative that the robbery itself must be conclusively established. To support a conviction therefor, proof of the rape alone is not sufficient. Robbery with rape occurs when the following elements are present: (1) personal property is taken with violence or intimidation against persons, (2) the property taken belongs to another, (3) the taking is done with animo lucrandi, and (4) the robbery is accompanied by rape.

In the case at bar, all the foregoing elements are present. The contemporaneous acts of appellant and his co-accused stress the fact that they
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were initially motivated by animus lucrandi. They first demanded guns, moneys and animals from Valentin Gabertan. Apparently, it was only when they entered the house and saw his wife when they thought of raping her. The prosecution likewise established that appellant and his co-accused took chickens, a watch and money from complainants through violence.

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Winny Mahor 2008-0306

People v. Verceles (388 SCRA 515)


Facts:

Accused Verceles alias "Baldog", Corpuz, Soriano alias "Merto", Ramos and Soriano entered the house of Mrs. Rosita Quilates by forcibly destroying the grills of the window. Once inside, they took away 1 colored T.V., 1 VHS, assorted jewelries, 1 alarm clock and 1 radio cassettes. In the course of the robbery, Soriano, succumbed to lustful desires and raped Maribeth Bolito while the others just stood outside the door and did nothing to prevent Soriano.

Issue:

Whether there exist a conspiracy to commit the crime of rape of individuals who conspire to commit a robbery.

Decision:

Once conspiracy is established between two accused in the commission of the crime of robbery, they would be both equally culpable for the rape committed by one of them on the occasion of the robbery, unless any of them proves that he endeavored to prevent the other from committing the rape. The rule in this jurisdiction is that whenever a rape is committed as a consequence, or on the occasion of a robbery, all those who took part therein are liable as principals of the crime of robbery with rape, although not all of them took part in the rape. Appellants are guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Robbery with Rape punished under Article 294 (1) of the Revised Penal Code.

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Luis Celestino 2006-0354

Art. 148: Direct Assault


People vs. Dural (223 SCRA 201)
Facts:

In1998, Rolando Dural and Bernardo Itucal were charged with double murder with assault upon agents of persons in authority for the death of two CAPCOM soldiers. Positively identified by witnesses, Dural was seen firing upon the two CAPCOM soldiers on board a CAPCOM mobile car. Dural and Itucal were convicted by the Caloocan RTC, hence, this appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not they are liable for double murder with assault upon agents of person in authority.

Decision:

Itucal was acquitted on the ground of reasonable doubt on his part as a co-conspirator. Durals conviction was affirmed as he was positively identified as one of the perpetrators of the crime. There was no doubt that they knew that the victims were members of the CAPCOM as they were in uniform and riding an official CAPCOM car. The victims were agents of persons in authority performing an official duty as peace officers and law enforcers. Thus, the crime committed are two (2) complex crimes of murder with direct assault upon agents of person in authority, wherein the maximum penalty for the more serious crime should be imposed.

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Luis Celestino 2006-0354

People vs. Abalos (258 SCRA 523)


Facts: On or about the 20th day of March, 1983, during the barangay fiesta in Catbalogan, Samar, Tiburcio Abalos struck P/pfc. Sofronio Labine with a piece of wood which caused the latters death. According to the witness, Felipe Basal, he noticed the accused and his father having an argument when a woman shouted for help. Thereafter, the victim appeared and asked the accuseds father, Major Abalos who is the victims superior officer, on what was going on. He even shouted the accuseds father. The accused hurriedly left and procured a piece of wood which he used in striking the victim. The accused was convicted by the RTC of Samar for the complex crime of direct assault with murder. For his defense, the accused alleged that he had the the notion that his father was being attacked by a member of the NPA, hence he could not have committed the felony of direct assault.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused is criminally liable for direct assault with murder?

Decision:

As correctly observed by the trial court, there can be no doubt that the accused knew that the victim is an agent of a person in authority. The lighting in the area were enough to afford him to identify the victim. He even testified that he personally knew the victim to be a policeman and in fact, Labine was then wearing his uniform. Tiburcio Abalos committed the second form of assault when he attacked with the use of force an agent of person in authority on the occasion of the performance of the latters duty.

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Luis Celestino 2006-0354

People vs. Tac-an (182 SCRA 201)


Facts:

Renato Tac-an and Francis Escano III were classmates in high School and close friends before their relationship turned sour. In 1984, a fight ensued between them in the classroom prompting Tac-an to go home and get a gun which he used to kill Escano in the presence of their classmates and teacher.

Issue:

Whether or not the crime was committed in contempt of or with Insult to public authorities?

Decision:

The Supreme Court held that the trial court erred in applying the provisions of Articles 148 and 152 of the Revised Penal Code. While a teacher is deemed to be a person in authority under the last paragraph of Art.152, such teacher is so deemed only for purposes of application of Art.148, direct assault upon a person in authority. In the case at bar, the assault was not directed upon the teacher, hence, there was no violation of Art.148. The accused is however guilty for the crime of murder.

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