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Preliminary Injunction NELSON JENOSA - versus REV. FR. JOSE RENE C. DELARIARTE, O.S.A.

, in his capacity as the incumbent Principal of the High School Department of the University of San Agustin, and the UNIVERSITY OF SAN AGUSTIN

The Case

This is a petition for review[1] of the 16 June 2005 Decision[2] and 22 March 2006[3] Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 78894. In its 16 June 2005 Decision, the Court of Appeals granted the petition of respondents University of San Augustin (University), represented by its incumbent President Rev. Fr. Manuel G. Vergara, O.S.A. (University President), and Rev. Fr. Jose Rene C. Delariarte, O.S.A. (Principal), in his capacity as the incumbent Principal of the High School Department of the University (respondents) and ordered the dismissal of Civil Case Nos. 03-27460 and 03-27646 for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. In its 22 March 2006 Resolution, the Court of Appeals denied the motion for reconsideration of petitioners Nelson Jenosa and his son Niño Carlo Jenosa, Socorro Canto and her son Patrick Canto, Cynthia Apalisok and her daughter Cyndy Apalisok, Eduardo Vargas and his son Clint Eduard Vargas, and Nelia Duro and her son Nonell Gregory Duro (petitioners).

The Facts

On 22 November 2002, some students of the University, among them petitioners Niño Carlo Jenosa, Patrick Canto, Cyndy Apalisok, Clint Eduard Vargas, and Nonell Gregory Duro (petitioner students), were caught engaging in hazing outside the school premises. The hazing incident was entered into the blotter of the Iloilo City Police.[4]

Thereafter, dialogues and consultations were conducted among the school authorities, the apprehended students and their parents. During the 28 November 2002 meeting, the parties agreed that, instead of the possibility of being charged and found guilty of hazing, the students who participated in the hazing incident as initiators, including petitioner students, would just transfer to another school, while those who participated as neophytes would be suspended for one month. The parents of the apprehended students, including petitioners, affixed their signatures to the minutes of

the meeting to signify their conformity.[5] In view of the agreement, the University did not anymore convene the Committee on Student Discipline (COSD) to investigate the hazing incident.

On 5 December 2002, the parents of petitioner students (petitioner parents) sent a letter to the University President urging him not to implement the 28 November 2002 agreement.[6] According to petitioner parents, the Principal, without convening the COSD, decided to order the immediate transfer of petitioner students.

On 10 December 2002, petitioner parents also wrote a letter to Mrs. Ida B. Endonila, School Division Superintendent, Department of Education (DepEd), Iloilo City, seeking her intervention and prayed that petitioner students be allowed to take the home study program instead of transferring to another school.[7] The DepEd asked the University to comment on the letter.[8] The University replied and attached the minutes of the 28 November 2002 meeting.[9]

On 3 January 2003, petitioners filed a complaint for injunction and damages with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 29, Iloilo City (trial court) docketed as Civil Case No. 03-27460.[10] Petitioners assailed the Principal’s decision to order the immediate transfer of petitioner students as a violation of their right to due process because the COSD was not convened.

On 5 February 2003, the trial court issued a writ of preliminary injunction and directed respondents to admit petitioner students during the pendency of the case.[11] The 5 February 2003 Order reads:

WHEREFORE, let [a] Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction issue. The defendants are hereby directed to allow the plaintiff’s minor children to attend their classes during the pendency of this case, without prejudice to any disciplinary proceeding to which any or all of them may be liable.

SO ORDERED.[12]

Respondents filed a motion for reconsideration and asked for the dissolution of the writ. The trial court denied respondents’ motion. Respondents complied but with reservations.

On 25 March 2003, respondents filed a motion to dismiss. Respondents alleged that the trial court had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case and that petitioners were guilty of forum shopping. On 19 May 2003, the trial court denied respondents’ motion. Respondents filed a motion for reconsideration.

On 21 April 2003, petitioners wrote the DepEd and asked that it direct the University to release the report cards and other credentials of petitioner students.[13] On 8 May 2003, the DepEd sent a letter to the University advising it to release petitioner students’ report cards and other credentials if there was no valid reason to withhold the same.[14] On 14 May 2003, the DepEd sent another letter to the University to follow-up petitioners’ request.*15+ On 20 May 2003, the University replied that it could not release petitioner students’ report cards due to their pending disciplinary case with the COSD.*16+

On 28 May 2003, petitioners filed another complaint for mandatory injunction praying for the release of petitioner students’ report cards and other credentials docketed as Civil Case No. 0327646.[17]

The trial court consolidated the two cases.[18]

On 17 June 2003, the trial court issued a writ of preliminary injunction and directed the University to release petitioner students’ report cards and other credentials.*19+ Respondents filed a motion for reconsideration. Respondents alleged that they could not comply with the writ because of the on-going disciplinary case against petitioner students.

On 26 June 2003, the COSD met with petitioners for a preliminary conference on the hazing incident. On 7 July 2003, the University, through the COSD, issued its report finding petitioner students guilty of hazing. The COSD also recommended the exclusion of petitioner students from its rolls effective 28 November 2002.

On 14 July 2003, the trial court issued an Order denying both motions for reconsideration.[20]

On 1 September 2003, respondents filed a special civil action for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. Respondents insisted that the trial court had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of Civil

to release the report cards and other school credentials. The Issues Petitioners raise the following issues: . According to the Court of Appeals.Case Nos. The Ruling of the Court of Appeals In its 16 June 2005 Decision. Respondents also alleged that petitioners were guilty of forum shopping. 03-27460 and 03-27646. the Court of Appeals granted respondents’ petition and ordered the trial court to dismiss Civil Case Nos. the court a quo is guilty of improper judicial intrusion by encroaching into the exclusive prerogative of educational institutions. pre-maturely.[21] Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration. prior to the action of the President of USA and of the recommendation of the COSD. In directing herein petitioners [respondents in this case] to re-admit herein private respondents [petitioners in this case] and eventually.[22] In its 22 March 2006 Resolution. 03-27460 and 03-27646 for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter because of petitioners’ failure to exhaust administrative remedies or for being premature. The Court of Appeals held: From the foregoing. it is clear that the court a quo committed grave [abuse] of discretion amounting to LACK OF JURISDICTION in INTERFERING. with the exclusive and inherent authority of educational institutions to discipline. the Court of Appeals denied petitioners’ motion for lack of merit. petitioners should have waited for the action of the DepEd or of the University President before resorting to judicial action.

03-27460 and 03-27646 did not acquire jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case for failure of petitioners to exhaust administrative remedies? 2. Was the recommendation/report/order of the Committee on Student Discipline dated 7 July 2003 valid. Since petitioners’ present complaint is one for injunction. we rule that the Principal had the authority to order the immediate transfer of petitioner students because of the 28 November 2002 agreement. In University of the Philippines v.1.. The University agreed that it would no longer conduct disciplinary proceedings and instead issue the transfer credentials of petitioner students. The latter is a frequently stated maxim which is also expressed in the principle that he who has done inequity shall not have .[27] In this case. Hon. and did it justify the order of exclusion of petitioner students retroactive to 28 November 2002?[23] The Ruling of the Court The petition has no merit.[30] a case involving student misconduct. and injunction is the strong arm of equity. Then petitioners reneged on their agreement without any justifiable reason. he who must apply for it must come with equity or with clean hands. strengthen ethical and spiritual values. Catungal. students have the duty and the responsibility to promote and maintain the peace and tranquility of the school by observing the rules of discipline. Discipline in education is specifically mandated by the 1987 Constitution which provides that all educational institutions shall “teach the rights and duties of citizenship.[29] In turn. this Court ruled: Since injunction is the strong arm of equity. Was the Court of Appeals correct in holding that Branch 29 of the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City in Civil Case Nos.[26] On the other hand. develop moral character and personal discipline. This is so because among the maxims of equity are (1) he who seeks equity must do equity. Jr.”*24+ Schools and school administrators have the authority to maintain school discipline[25] and the right to impose appropriate and reasonable disciplinary measures. petitioners must come to court with clean hands. and (2) he who comes into equity must come with clean hands. the University did not anymore convene the COSD. Petitioners Socorro Canto and Nelia Duro even wrote a letter to inform the University that they would transfer their children to another school and requested for the pertinent papers needed for the transfer.[28] Petitioner parents affixed their signatures to the minutes of the 28 November 2002 meeting and signified their conformity to transfer their children to another school.

SO ORDERED . We uphold the validity of the 28 November 2002 agreement and rule that the Principal had the authority to order the immediate transfer of petitioner students based on the 28 November 2002 agreement. petitioners.[31] Here. It signifies that a litigant may be denied relief by a court of equity on the ground that his conduct has been inequitable. Since petitioners have come to court with inequitable and unfair conduct. come to court with unclean hands. unfair and dishonest as to the controversy in issue. This Court may deny a litigant relief if his conduct has been inequitable. We AFFIRM the 16 June 2005 Decision and the 22 March 2006 Resolution of the Court of Appeals.equity. or fraudulent. or deceitful as to the controversy in issue. we DENY the petition. having reneged on their agreement without any justifiable reason. WHEREFORE. unfair and dishonest. we deny them relief.

1999 to direct the PBAC to send out to all known stockholders invitations to bid for the entire 106 treasury shares for a minimum bulk bid of One Million Eighty One Thousand Two Hundred (P1. ECHANO and LIBRADO GUERRA.G. vs. ROMULO M. JR. (Mabini). petitioners filed SEC LEO Case No. 2007 LUZ GARCIA. MARCEL LUKBAN.081. 161338 April 27. 2003. J.. 1999. No. PAMELA ROSANNA APUYA. On July 2. 2 The Board agreed during its Special Meeting held on July 13. denying petitioners’ motion for reconsideration. the Adeva group. 2002 nullifying the Resolution dated July 11. WAVA ANN BAYLON. Respondents. * DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. Sometime in 1995. wherein a committee was composed for the reconstitution of Mabini’s stock and transfer books. the incumbent Board of Trustees passed a resolution authorizing the sale through bidding of 106 treasury shares of stock of Mabini by its Pre-qualification. The petition stemmed from a dispute between two groups of shareholders within the Mabini College.200. CEZAR E. 95-0005 (EB 496). Bids and Award Committee (PBAC) on August 9. and respondents. with petitioners comprising the Garcia-Lukban group.R. AIDA FERRER and JANET VENIDA. ADEVA. JUSTO LUKBAN. 1999. Petitioners. 2000 of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) En Banc and reinstating the Order dated March 13.: Assailed in the present Petition for Review on Certiorari is the Decision 1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated September 18.00) Pesos or Ten . a petition for Annual Elections of Stockholders and SEC Supervision in the Procedural Matter of Corporate Inspection with Mandatory Injunction. 2000 of the SEC Securities Investigation and Clearing Department’s (SICD’s) Hearing Panel (Hearing Panel). ALICE ADEVA. Inc. Also assailed is the CA Resolution dated December 18. ALBERTO GARCIA.

1999. 6 Then SEC Chairman Perfecto Yasay. 11 .m. the Hearing Panel issued an Order dated September 27. that as of the date of filing of the petition. 1999 at 1:00 to 3:00 p. that day and was already finished. subject to the posting of an injunction bond in the amount of P50. 1999. after the expiration of the TRO. the PBAC re-scheduled the sale of the shares on September 28. 1999. Hearing on the application for the issuance of a preliminary injunction was set on September 20 and 21.00) Pesos per share. 5 that the stock and transfer book of Mabini has yet to be reconstituted. 1999 which was extended until September 22.200. that the scheme to bid out the shares is violative of the stockholders’ preemptive right to purchase treasury shares. but it was refused by respondents’ counsel for the reason that the order was not signed by the majority of the Hearing Panel. of the same day. issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on September 2. petitioners filed on August 31. ensuring his indefinite tenure as President of the corporation. 3 The bidding. that two members of the PBAC. 1999 granting the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction. 9 The matter was subsequently rectified and at 3:30 p.m.Thousand Two Hundred (P10. 08-99-6398 seeking to enjoin the scheduled sale. alleging that since 1983. was deferred to September 4.00. 10 with respondent Guerra as the winning bidder. 8 Attempt was made to serve a copy of the SEC Order in the morning of September 28. Jr. 4 Thus. and enjoining the sale of the treasury shares. petitioners filed an Omnibus Motion praying that the sale of the treasury shares be nullified and that respondents be cited in indirect contempt. Echano (Echano) and Librado Guerra (Guerra) are not registered stockholders of Mabini. however. the Hearing Panel telefaxed a copy of the signed order but respondents’ counsel still refused to receive the same on the ground that petitioners did not post an injunction bond and that the bidding had already commenced at 1:00 p. and. there is no official list of stockholders of Mabini. 7 But before said date came. Petitioners prayed that the impending sale be enjoined on the grounds that the authority given by the Board of Trustees to the PBAC contravenes Section 9 of the Corporation Code which gives the Board of Directors or Trustees the right to dispose said shares for a reasonable price fixed by the Board. As a result. 1999. 1999.000. namely: Cesar F. On September 23. SEC Case No. 1999.m. respondent Romulo Adeva (Adeva) intentionally failed to call a stockholders meeting for the election of Mabini’s Board of Trustees on the pretext that its stock and transfer books are missing.

According to the CA." but it nullified the sale of the treasury shares based on the Hearing Panel’s "prima facie" finding that it lacked authority from Mabini’s Board of Trustees. 2000. finding that there is no ground to nullify the sale or hold respondents in indirect contempt since at the time the sale was held. 15 The CA denied petitioners’ motion for reconsideration per Resolution dated December 18. On September 18. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE SEC DELVED ON MATTERS WHICH WERE NOT LAID BEFORE IT IN THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI. 13 This prompted respondents to file a petition for review with the CA. as it was the board itself which authorized the sale through the PBAC. 2002. 2000. instead of just ruling on whether the Hearing Panel abused its discretion in denying petitioners’ Omnibus Motion. 1999. 2000.The Hearing Panel denied petitioners’ Omnibus Motion per its Order dated March 13. 16 Petitioners are now before the Court alleging that: I. the CA issued the herein assailed Resolution. it affirmed the Hearing Panel’s finding that respondents may not be held in indirect contempt as the injunction order was released "with some defects. 14 In sustaining the sale of the treasury shares. 12 Petitioners appealed to the SEC En Banc. the SEC En Banc delved on matters that were not before it when it ruled that the board of trustees lacked the authority to dispose of the shares. 2000 and reinstated the Hearing Panel’s Order dated March 13. petitioners had yet to post an injunction bond which was done only on October 8. the CA found that the SEC En Banc went beyond the issue of the propriety of granting the writ of preliminary injunction when it annulled the Mabini’s board resolution authorizing the sale of the treasury shares. granting the petition. Lastly. It nullified the SEC En Banc’s Resolution dated July 11. . The CA further stated that it does not concur with the SEC En Banc’s ruling that the sale lacked authority from Mabini’s board. the CA sustained the Hearing Panel’s denial of petitioners’ Omnibus Motion due to their failure to timely post an injunction bond. 2003. and in its Resolution dated July 11. or 10 days after the scheduled sale.

Inc. at 12:00 noon. it is most respectfully prayed of this Honorable Commission that: 1. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED WHEN IT UPHELD THE HEARING PANEL’S FINDING THAT THERE IS NO GROUND TO NULLIFY THE BIDDING AND AWARD OF TREASURY SHARES SINCE NO WRIT HAS BEEN ISSUED PREVENTING SUCH BIDDING. the foregoing premises considered. Upon the filing of this petition. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE ERROR WHEN IT FOUND THAT THE SALE OF TREASURY SHARES DID NOT LACK AUTHORITY FROM THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES III. Daet Camarines Norte. 08-99-6398 is one which seeks only an ancillary remedy or one for Injunction. on 4 September 1999. their agents or representatives to cease and desist from offering for sale the treasury shares of Mabini College. said injunction be made permanent. as a principal action.nét OTHER RELIEFS.1awphi1. in a bidding to be held for the purpose. However. 18 . just and equitable under the premises are likewise prayed for. 17 The Petition must be denied. After due proceedings. a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) be issued directing respondents. 2. it must first be made clear whether the petition filed by petitioners docketed as SEC Case No. at the Case Room of the Mabini College. The prayer of the Petition reads: PRAYER WHEREFORE.II.

At first glance, it seems obvious that petitioners’ action is only to enjoin respondents Adeva, in his capacity as member of the Board of Trustees and President of Mabini, Echano, Lydia E. Cacawa, and Guerra, as Chairmen and Members, respectively of the PBAC of Mabini, "from offering for sale the treasury shares of Mabini College in a bidding to be held for the purpose, on September 4, 1999 at 12:00 noon."

Garayblas v. Atienza, Jr. 19 is instructive, to wit:

Injunction is a judicial writ, process or proceeding whereby a party is ordered to do or refrain from doing a certain act. It may be the main action or merely a provisional remedy for and as an incident in the main action. The Court has distinguished the main action for injunction from the provisional or ancillary remedy of preliminary injunction, thus:

The main action for injunction is distinct from the provisional or ancillary remedy of preliminary injunction which cannot exist except only as part or an incident of an independent action or proceeding. As a matter of course, in an action for injunction, the auxiliary remedy of preliminary injunction, whether prohibitory or mandatory, may issue. Under the law, the main action for injunction seeks a judgment embodying a final injunction which is distinct from, and should not be confused with, the provisional remedy of preliminary injunction, the sole object of which is to preserve the status quo until the merits can be heard. A preliminary injunction is granted at any stage of an action or proceeding prior to the judgment or final order. It persists until it is dissolved or until the termination of the action without the court issuing a final injunction. 20

Considering the fact that in this case petitioners also prayed that the injunction be made permanent; and considering the allegations in the petition that under Section 9 of the Corporation Code, the power to dispose treasury shares is given to the Board of Directors or Trustees and not to any other Committee created by the Board; that the bidding of treasury shares is a plot by the incumbent President Adeva to corner treasury shares in order to secure majority shareholdings for purposes of corporate control; and that the right of respondents Echano and Guerra to act as Members of the Board of the PBAC is "very dubious" because their names, as subsequent buyers of shares, are not recorded in the Stock and Transfer Book of Mabini which has been declared missing and has yet to be reconstituted, 21 the Court is convinced that SEC Case No. 08-99-6398 is a principal action for Injunction, not merely for an ancillary remedy of writ of preliminary injunction, wherein the main issues involved, among others, are: (1) whether the creation of the PBAC by the Board of Trustees is valid under the Corporation Code; (2) whether there was a quorum when the Board of Trustees authorized the sale of the treasury shares; and (3) whether respondents Echano and Guerra are bona fide shareholders. These issues are not involved

in SEC LEO Case No. 95-0005 (EB 496). The latter case is a separate action which involves the annual elections of stockholders and SEC supervision in the procedural matter of corporate injunction as well as the reconstitution of Mabini’s stock and transfer books; and the reconstitution is still being undertaken at the time that SEC Case No. 08-99-6398 was filed by petitioners. Thus, SEC Case No. 08-99-6398 cannot even be referred to or consolidated with SEC LEO Case No. 95-0005 (EB 496). It is for the Hearing Panel in SEC Case No. 08-99-6398 to determine whether a final injunction may be issued under the facts and the law of the case.

The issue in the present Petition for Review by Certiorari is whether the CA erred in sustaining the Hearing Panel’s Order dated March 13, 2000 which denied for lack of merit petitioners’ Omnibus Motion to nullify the sale of the subject treasury sales in a bidding conducted by respondents on September 28, 1999.

Attacking the CA Decision, petitioners claim that the CA erred in finding that the SEC En Banc delved on matters which were not laid before it in the Petition for Certiorari brought by petitioners questioning the denial of the Omnibus Motion by the Hearing Panel.

To know whether the SEC En Banc went beyond the issue of the propriety of granting the writ of preliminary injunction in annulling the sale of the treasury shares, a look into the Omnibus Motion filed by petitioners with the Hearing Panel must be made as the Order dated March 13, 2000, denying the Omnibus Motion, is the precursor of the dispute at hand. It is from said motion where it can be determined what were the issues brought up to the SEC En Banc for resolution.

Petitioners’ Omnibus Motion sought the nullity of the sale of the treasury shares in a bidding conducted by the PBAC and to hold respondents in contempt. The only reason given by petitioners in claiming that the award of the treasury shares to the winning bidder was null and void is that the bidding was made despite the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction by the Hearing Panel per its Order dated September 27, 1999. 22 Petitioners also contended that respondents were guilty of indirect contempt for defying said Order. 23 Thus, it is only on these grounds that the Hearing Panel resolved the Omnibus Motion per its Order dated March 13, 2000, to wit:

In the record however, is the petitioners’ bond in the amount of P50,000.00 pesos posted only on October 08, 1999, or ten (10) days after the scheduled bidding of the shares of stock on September 28, 1999. Indeed, the injunction bond was lately filed rendering the same as moot and academic to enjoin

the bidding. Hence, there is no ground to nullify the said proceedings and the result since no writ has been issued preventing such bidding.

Similarly, and since no bond was immediately posted and no writ was issued, the respondents cannot be charged of committing any act constituting indirect contempt of the Commission. The fact that the September 27, 1999 Order was released with some defects would normally put the respondents and their lawyers on guard, and to then scrutinize the regularity and validity of issuance is just a normal prudence [sic] for every litigants to do. And when the process server finally have [sic] a fax copy of the Order which was validly issued, the same was a fait accompli as the bidding was already done. 24 (Emphasis supplied)

Consequently, it was an error for the SEC En Banc to delve into the question whether the sale of the treasury shares lacked authority from the Board of Trustees, and to further flog the Hearing Panel for allegedly disregarding said issue in resolving the Omnibus Motion.

The Court does not subscribe to petitioners’ argument that a resolution on the issue of the legality of the corporate act authorizing the bidding sought to be enjoined is essential in the appeal taken by them from the Hearing Panel Resolution dated July 11, 2000 25 to the SEC En Banc.

True, as stated by the SEC En Banc, that the Order dated September 29, 1999 granting petitioners’ application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction made mention that the sale lacked authority from the Board of Trustees. 26 However, as stated by the SEC En Banc, it was merely a "prima facie finding," 27 i.e., subject to contradiction by other evidence that may be presented during the trial on the merits of the main injunction case.

It cannot be over emphasized that the lone ground relied upon by the Hearing Panel in denying petitioners’ motion to nullify the sale by PBAC of the treasury shares and to hold respondents in indirect contempt is petitioners’ failure to timely post a bond. Thus, any conclusive reliance on the alleged lack of authority of the Board of Trustees will, in effect, dispose of the case on the merits and would prematurely prejudge SEC Case No. 08-99-6398 without affording the parties the opportunity to rebut such prima facie finding.

Any discussion on the validity of the authority to sell the treasury shares by PBAC is premature. At best, the Hearing Panel’s finding on this score is merely preliminary, subject to a final ruling on the main case.

x x x x (Emphasis supplied). the applicant files with the court where the action or proceeding is pending. to wit: . 2000.It is in this context that the Court finds that the CA should have refrained from dealing with the validity of the authority to sell the treasury shares. Rule 58 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure states: Sec. Verified application and bond for preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order." 28 In effect. and shows facts entitling the applicant to the relief demanded. Sec. In the assailed Decision.A preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order may be granted only when: (a) The application in the action or proceeding is verified. The absence of an injunction bond at the time that the bidding was conducted negates the petitioner’s demand for the invalidity of the sale of the treasury shares and to hold petitioners in indirect contempt of court. as stated by the Hearing Panel. the posting of the injunction bond is required by the SEC New Rules of Procedure. a writ of preliminary injunction shall be issued.1awphi1. a bond executed to the party or person enjoined.nét Also. to the effect that the applicant will pay to such party or person all damages which he may sustain by reason of the injunction or temporary restraining order if the court should finally decide that the applicant was not entitled thereto. 4. and (b) Unless exempted by the court. 4. the CA opined that it "cannot subscribe to the view that the sale of treasury shares lacked authority from the board of trustees x x x because it was precisely the board of trustees themselves that authorized the sale of the treasury shares through the PBAC. Upon approval of the requisite bond. The Court sustains the reinstatement of the Hearing Panel’s Order dated March 13. in an amount to be fixed by the court. the CA went against its own previous ruling that it was grave abuse of discretion on the part of the SEC En Banc to resolve the matter. .

Upon approval of the requisite bond. 2000 of the Hearing Panel. a writ of preliminary injunction shall be issued. 30 Furthermore. to the effect that the applicant will pay such party or person all damages which he may sustain by reason of the injunction or TRO if the court should finally decide that the applicant was not entitled thereto. the CA is correct in nullifying the SEC En Banc Decision and in reinstating the Order dated March 13. 1999. 31 Consequently. in an amount to be fixed by the court.m.m. unless exempted by the court. the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. September 28. By the time the defect was rectified and the order served on respondents’ counsel at 3:30 p. at any time after the commencement of the action and before judgment when it is established after notice and hearing: x x x x (Emphasis supplied).SECTION 1. the applicant. upon bond filed with the Commission to be fixed by the Hearing Officer. Costs against petitioners. and the treasury shares sold to respondent Guerra. of the same day. 1999 granting the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and enjoining the sale of the treasury shares was served on respondents’ counsel in the morning of the scheduled bidding date. Issuance of Preliminary Injunction. among others. As the facts have it. the Order dated September 27. SO ORDERED.. however. Respondents’ counsel. 29 It has been ruled that the posting of a bond is a condition sine qua non in order that the writ of preliminary injunction may issue. files with the court where the action or proceeding is pending. . the bidding had already commenced at 1:00 p. rightly refused to receive the order due to the apparent lack of signatures of the majority of the Hearing Panel. as scheduled. .A preliminary injunction may be granted by the Hearing Officer. A preliminary injunction or TRO may be granted only when. a bond executed to the party or person enjoined. WHEREFORE. respondents cannot be faulted for pushing through with the bidding and sale of the treasury shares.

INC. 2002 Resolution of public respondent National Labor Relations Commission [NLRC] is hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. SP No. Inc. and denied petitioners’ Motion for Reconsideration. 69540 which granted the petition for certiorari of respondent. 2001 Resolution as well as the January 28. Garcia and Alberto J. Philippine Airlines. . The assailed November 26. . Dumago assail the December 5. Petitioners Juanito A. SO ORDERED. respectively.[2] The case stemmed from the administrative charge filed by PAL against its employees-herein petitioners[3] after they were allegedly caught in the act of sniffing shabu when a team of company security personnel and law enforcers raided the PAL Technical Center’s Toolroom Section on July 24.R. Consequently.versus - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES. (PAL). Petitioners. GARCIA and ALBERTO J. 2004 Resolution of the Court of Appeals[1] in CA-G. The dispositive portion of the assailed Decision reads: WHEREFORE.. Respondent. the Writ of Execution and the Notice of Garnishment issued by the Labor Arbiter are hereby likewise ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. premises considered and in view of the foregoing. 2003 Decision and April 16.Receivership JUANITO A. DUMAGO. the instant petition is hereby GIVEN DUE COURSE. 1995.

Respondent elevated the matter to the appellate court which issued the herein challenged Decision and Resolution nullifying the NLRC Resolutions on two grounds. 2000.[7] Subsequently or on October 5.[5] resolved by the Labor Arbiter in their favor. PAL dismissed petitioners on October 9. respondent appealed to the NLRC which. 2000. . thus ordering PAL to. who was subsequently replaced by a Permanent Rehabilitation Receiver on June 7. From the Labor Arbiter’s decision. and (2) the impossibility to comply with the reinstatement order due to corporate rehabilitation provides a reasonable justification for the failure to exercise the options under Article 223 of the Labor Code (the second ground). reversed said decision and dismissed petitioners’ complaint for lack of merit. respondent filed an Urgent Petition for Injunction with the NLRC which. under an Interim Rehabilitation Receiver. inter alia. the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) placed PAL (hereafter referred to as respondent). he issued a Notice of Garnishment (Notice). 1999. which was suffering from severe financial losses. and on October 25.[4] prompting them to file a complaint for illegal dismissal and damages which was. essentially espousing that: (1) a subsequent finding of a valid dismissal removes the basis for implementing the reinstatement aspect of a labor arbiter’s decision (the first ground). 1995 for transgressing the PAL Code of Discipline. In a related move. Respondent thereupon moved to quash the Writ and to lift the Notice while petitioners moved to release the garnished amount. affirmed the validity of the Writ and the Notice issued by the Labor Arbiter but suspended and referred the action to the Rehabilitation Receiver for appropriate action. 2001 and January 28.*6+ Petitioners’ Motion for Reconsideration was denied by Resolution of April 28. by Resolutions of November 26.After due notice. 2000. 2002. 1999 Decision. by Decision of January 11. the Labor Arbiter issued a Writ of Execution (Writ) respecting the reinstatement aspect of his January 11. 1999. by Resolution of January 31. 2000 and Entry of Judgment was issued on July 13. immediately comply with the reinstatement aspect of the decision. Prior to the promulgation of the Labor Arbiter’s decision. 2000.

Accordingly. to still require petitioners at this time to re-file their labor claim against PAL under peculiar circumstances of the case– that their dismissal was eventually held valid with only the matter of reinstatement pending appeal being the issue– this Court deems it legally expedient to suspend the proceedings in this case. the NLRC. by Order of September 28. as well as the Court of Appeals should have abstained from resolving petitioners’ case for illegal dismissal and should instead have directed them to lodge their claim before PAL’s receiver. the instant petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED in that the instant proceedings herein are SUSPENDED until further notice from this Court. granted its request to exit from rehabilitation proceedings. Inc. this Court PARTIALLY GRANTED the present petition and effectively reinstated the NLRC Resolutions insofar as it suspended the proceedings.[9] In view of the termination of the rehabilitation proceedings. WHEREFORE. No costs. Amplification of the First Ground . 2007. the Court now proceeds to resolve the remaining issue for consideration. the same should have been suspended pending the rehabilitation proceedings.By Decision of August 29. respondent informed the Court that the SEC. viz: Since petitioners’ claim against PAL is a money claim for their wages during the pendency of PAL’s appeal to the NLRC. SO ORDERED. respondent Philippine Airlines. 2007. The Labor Arbiter. underscoring supplied) By Manifestation and Compliance of October 30.[8] (Italics in the original. now that respondent has exited from rehabilitation proceedings. is hereby DIRECTED to quarterly update the Court as to the status of its ongoing rehabilitation. which is whether petitioners may collect their wages during the period between the Labor Arbiter’s order of reinstatement pending appeal and the NLRC decision overturning that of the Labor Arbiter. However. 2007.

(Emphasis and underscoring supplied) The view as maintained in a number of cases is that: x x x [E]ven if the order of reinstatement of the Labor Arbiter is reversed on appeal. On the other hand. Zamora.The appellate court counted on as its first ground the view that a subsequent finding of a valid dismissal removes the basis for implementing the reinstatement aspect of a labor arbiter’s decision. if the employee has been reinstated during the appeal period and such reinstatement order is reversed with finality. the option of payroll reinstatement. . the employee is not required to reimburse whatever salary he received for he is entitled to such. The posting of a bond by the employer shall not stay the execution for reinstatement provided herein. at the option of the employer. it is obligatory on the part of the employer to reinstate and pay the wages of the dismissed employee during the period of appeal until reversal by the higher court. insofar as the reinstatement aspect is concerned. merely reinstated in the payroll. shall immediately be executory. more so if he actually rendered services during the period. a dismissed employee whose case was favorably decided by the Labor Arbiter is entitled to receive wages pending appeal upon reinstatement. The employee shall either be admitted back to work under the same terms and conditions prevailing prior to his dismissal or separation or.[12] (Emphasis in the original.[11] At the core of the seeming divergence is the application of paragraph 3 of Article 223 of the Labor Code which reads: In any event.[10] while on the other is the recent case of Genuino v. the decision of the Labor Arbiter reinstating a dismissed or separated employee. v. National Labor Relations Commission. pending appeal. the Court’s attention is drawn to seemingly divergent decisions concerning reinstatement pending appeal or. On the one hand is the jurisprudential trend as expounded in a line of cases including Air Philippines Corp. italics and underscoring supplied) In other words. which is immediately executory. On this score. particularly.

and company practices.[14] (Emphasis. In fact. then the employee is entitled to the compensation received for actual services rendered without need of refund. and to do so would constitute unjust enrichment. However. if the employee was reinstated to work during the pendency of the appeal.[15] the Court did not order the refund of salaries garnished or received by payrollreinstated employees despite a subsequent reversal of the reinstatement order.[13] The opposite view is articulated in Genuino which states: If the decision of the labor arbiter is later reversed on appeal upon the finding that the ground for dismissal is valid. it is ministerial upon the Labor Arbiter to implement the order of reinstatement and it is mandatory on the employer to comply therewith. and her dismissal is based on a just cause. italics and underscoring supplied) It has thus been advanced that there is no point in releasing the wages to petitioners since their dismissal was found to be valid. The dearth of authority supporting Genuino is not difficult to fathom for it would otherwise render inutile the rationale of reinstatement pending appeal. Considering that Genuino was not reinstated to work or placed on payroll reinstatement. 3 of the fallo of the September 3. there had been no known similar case containing a dispositive portion where the employee was required to refund the salaries received on payroll reinstatement. . in a catena of cases. or it can be deducted from the accrued benefits that the dismissed employee was entitled to receive from his/her employer under existing laws. then the employer has the right to require the dismissed employee on payroll reinstatement to refund the salaries s/he received while the case was pending appeal.Unless there is a restraining order. 1994 NLRC Decision. collective bargaining agreement provisions. then she is not entitled to be paid the salaries stated in item no. Prior to Genuino.

once more. the State may authorize an immediate implementation. a continuing threat or danger to the survival or even the life of the dismissed or separated employee and his family. Labor is an indispensable partner for the nation's progress and stability. xxxx x x x Then. in his Separate Opinion. by and pursuant to the same power (police power). . the law itself has determined a sufficiently overwhelming reason for its execution pending appeal. of a decision reinstating a dismissed or separated employee since that saving act is designed to stop. which the Constitution also expressly affirms with equal intensity. pending appeal. although temporarily since the appeal may be decided in favor of the appellant.[16] The social justice principles of labor law outweigh or render inapplicable the civil law doctrine of unjust enrichment espoused by Justice Presbitero Velasco. xxxx These duties and responsibilities of the State are imposed not so much to express sympathy for the workingman as to forcefully and meaningfully underscore labor as a primary social and economic force. vivifies and enhances the provisions of the 1987 Constitution on labor and the working man. Jr. The constitutional and statutory precepts portray the otherwise “unjust” situation as a condition affording full protection to labor. xxxx x x x In short. with respect to decisions reinstating employees.x x x [T]he law itself has laid down a compassionate policy which.

The discussion stopped there without considering the cause of the delay. would necessarily have to use up the salaries received during the pendency of the appeal. the matter is treated as a mere race against time. the “refund doctrine” easily demonstrates how a favorable decision by the Labor Arbiter could harm. the writ of execution therein was secured prior to the reversal of the Labor Arbiter’s decision. if any is available. Under such scheme. it requires the issuance . the Court realigns the proper course of the prevailing doctrine on reinstatement pending appeal vis-à-vis the effect of a reversal on appeal. but also institutes a scheme unduly favorable to management. it is unthinkable for one to refuse payroll reinstatement. unlike the present case. to make both ends meet. only to end up having to refund the sum in case of a final unfavorable decision. the sum is better left unspent. Second. the rise of concerned employees declining payroll reinstatement is on the horizon.Even outside the theoretical trappings of the discussion and into the mundane realities of human experience. It becomes more logical and practical for the employee to refuse payroll reinstatement and simply find work elsewhere in the interim. The proposition is tenuous. even if the employee is able and raring to return to work. the employer gets back the same amount without having to spend ordinarily for bond premiums. This circumvents. For in the event of a reversal of the Labor Arbiter’s decision ordering reinstatement. The employee. Notably. Respondent insists that with the reversal of the Labor Arbiter’s Decision. In his Separate Opinion. the salaries dispensed pendente lite merely serve as a bond posted in installment by the employer. the proscription that the “posting of a bond *even a cash bond+ by the employer shall not stay the execution for reinstatement. the option of payroll reinstatement belongs to the employer. Justice Presbitero Velasco. It is mirage of a stop-gap leading the employee to a risky cliff of insolvency. there is no more basis to enforce the reinstatement aspect of the said decision. if not directly contradicts. supports this argument and finds the prevailing doctrine in Air Philippines and allied cases inapplicable because. the Genuino ruling not only disregards the social justice principles behind the rule. Further. Jr. Advisably. a dismissed employee. First. In the face of the grim possibilities. more than help. Prior to Genuino.”*17+ In playing down the stray posture in Genuino requiring the dismissed employee on payroll reinstatement to refund the salaries in case a final decision upholds the validity of the dismissal.

In other words. The reason is simple. i. x x x[20] (Italics in the original.of a writ of execution despite the immediately executory nature of the reinstatement aspect of the decision.e. are to be construed in the light of the purpose to be achieved and the evil sought to be remedied. 6715.[18] which was cited in Panuncillo v. even pending appeal. for instance. then the executory nature of a reinstatement order or award contemplated by Article 223 will be unduly circumscribed and rendered ineffectual. to make an award of reinstatement immediately enforceable. The legislative intent is quite obvious. or to reinstate them in the payroll. one which operates no further than may be necessary to achieve its specific purpose. emphasis and underscoring supplied) The Court reaffirms the prevailing principle that even if the order of reinstatement of the Labor Arbiter is reversed on appeal. Statutes. the immediate execution of a reinstatement order. Inc. NLRC. CAP Philippines. or an inaction on the part of the Labor Arbiter or the NLRC could easily delay the issuance of the writ thereby setting at naught the strict mandate and noble purpose envisioned by Article 223. it is obligatory on the part of the employer to reinstate and pay the wages of the dismissed employee during the period of appeal until reversal by the higher court. i.. v. and that failing to exercise the options in the alternative. if the requirements of Article 224 [including the issuance of a writ of execution] were to govern. In enacting the law..[22] Amplification of the Second Ground . employer must pay the employee’s salaries. as we so declared in Maranaw.. Congress should not be considered to be indulging in mere semantic exercise.[19] the Court observed: x x x The provision of Article 223 is clear that an award [by the Labor Arbiter] for reinstatement shall be immediately executory even pending appeal and the posting of a bond by the employer shall not stay the execution for reinstatement. as a rule. To require the application for and issuance of a writ of execution as prerequisites for the execution of a reinstatement award would certainly betray and run counter to the very object and intent of Article 223.e. x x x In introducing a new rule on the reinstatement aspect of a labor decision under Republic Act No. the legislature is presumed to have ordained a valid and sensible law. An application for a writ of execution and its issuance could be delayed for numerous reasons. A mere continuance or postponement of a scheduled hearing.[21] It settles the view that the Labor Arbiter's order of reinstatement is immediately executory and the employer has to either re-admit them to work under the same terms and conditions prevailing prior to their dismissal. In Pioneer Texturing Corp.

as observed in Panuncillo and as what actually transpired in Kimberly. It was later discovered that the employee . if it is shown that the delay in enforcing the reinstatement pending appeal was without fault on the part of the employer. any attempt on the part of the employer to evade or delay its execution. Reinstatement pending appeal necessitates its immediate execution during the pendency of the appeal. during the short span of four months or from the promulgation on May 2. 1994 of the NLRC Decision. nonetheless. if the law is to serve its noble purpose. 1994 of the Labor Arbiter’s Decision up to the promulgation on September 3. the employer may still be required to pay the salaries notwithstanding the reversal of the Labor Arbiter’s decision.The remaining issue. In Genuino. At the same time. If the delay is due to the employer’s unjustified refusal. Inc. is resolved in the negative on the strength of the second ground relied upon by the appellate court in the assailed issuances.[26] should not be countenanced. The spirit of the rule on reinstatement pending appeal animates the proceedings once the Labor Arbiter issues the decision containing an order of reinstatement. After the labor arbiter’s decision is reversed by a higher tribunal. making it difficult to establish that the employer actually refused to comply. and (2) the delay must not be due to the employer’s unjustified act or omission. v. who was the Treasury Sales Division Head.[23] Composite.[25] and Roquero. In a situation like that in International Container Terminal Services. there was no showing that the employer refused to reinstate the employee. The Court sustains the appellate court’s finding that the peculiar predicament of a corporate rehabilitation rendered it impossible for respondent to exercise its option under the circumstances.[24] Air Philippines. the former NLRC Rules of Procedure did not lay down a mechanism to promptly effectuate the self-executory order of reinstatement. The immediacy of its execution needs no further elaboration. The test is two-fold: (1) there must be actual delay or the fact that the order of reinstatement pending appeal was not executed prior to its reversal. the employee may be barred from collecting the accrued wages. Notably. the Court upheld the self-executory nature of the reinstatement order and ruled that the salary automatically accrued from notice of the Labor Arbiter's order of reinstatement until its ultimate reversal by the NLRC. NLRC[27] where it was alleged that the employer was willing to comply with the order and that the employee opted not to pursue the execution of the order.

[32] This injunction or suspension of claims by legislative fiat[33] partakes of the nature of a restraining order that constitutes a legal justification for respondent’s non-compliance with the reinstatement order. It is apparent that there was inaction on the part of respondent to reinstate them. the SEC placed respondent under an Interim Rehabilitation Receiver.[31] As stated early on. Case law recognizes that unless there is a restraining order. In the case at bar. Technically. In that scenario where the delay was caused by the Labor Arbiter. now require the employer to submit a report of compliance within 10 calendar days from receipt of the Labor Arbiter’s decision. all actions for claims before any court. Such being .indeed moved for the issuance of a writ but was not acted upon by the Labor Arbiter. After the Labor Arbiter rendered his decision. during the pendency of petitioners’ complaint before the Labor Arbiter. 2000 after the reversal by the NLRC of the Labor Arbiter’s decision.[29] disobedience to which clearly denotes a refusal to reinstate. 2006. the SEC replaced the Interim Rehabilitation Receiver with a Permanent Rehabilitation Receiver. With the new rules in place. which took effect on January 7. tribunal or board against the corporation shall ipso jure be suspended. The employee need not file a motion for the issuance of the writ of execution since the Labor Arbiter shall thereafter motu proprio issue the writ. but whether such omission was justified depends on the onset of the exigency of corporate rehabilitation. petitioners exerted efforts[30+ to execute the Labor Arbiter’s order of reinstatement until they were able to secure a writ of execution. there is hardly any difficulty in determining the employer’s intransigence in immediately complying with the order. It is settled that upon appointment by the SEC of a rehabilitation receiver. there was still actual delay which brings to the question of whether the delay was due to respondent’s unjustified act or omission. Respondent’s failure to exercise the alternative options of actual reinstatement and payroll reinstatement was thus justified. it was ruled that the inaction of the Labor Arbiter who failed to act upon the employee’s motion for the issuance of a writ of execution may no longer adversely affect the cause of the dismissed employee in view of the self-executory nature of the order of reinstatement. the implementation of the order of reinstatement is ministerial and mandatory.[28] The new NLRC Rules of Procedure. albeit issued on October 5.

More importantly. the petition is PARTIALLY DENIED. 2004 annulling the NLRC Resolutions affirming the validity of the Writ of Execution and the Notice of Garnishment are concerned. Respondent was. on the one hand. did not attach. as the normal effect of the nonexercise of the options.the case. not only by virtue of the statutory injunction but also in view of the interim relinquishment of management control to give way to the full exercise of the powers of the rehabilitation receiver. on the other hand. and a claim of actual and imminent substantial losses as ground for retrenchment. there are legal effects arising from a judicial order placing a corporation under rehabilitation. stops at the red line on the financial statements. In sum. respondent may have opted for actual physical reinstatement pending appeal to optimize the utilization of resources. . though the management may think this wise. WHEREFORE. The parallelism between a judicial order of corporation rehabilitation as a justification for the non-exercise of its options. Unlike the ground of substantial losses contemplated in a retrenchment case. considering the inherent constraints of corporate rehabilitation. Had there been no need to rehabilitate. are more salient distinctions. Beyond the analogous condition of financial gloom. respondent’s obligation to pay the salaries pending appeal. during the period material to the case. it does not contemplate the period when the employer-corporation itself is similarly in a judicially monitored state of being resuscitated in order to survive. the rehabilitation receiver may decide otherwise. While reinstatement pending appeal aims to avert the continuing threat or danger to the survival or even the life of the dismissed employee and his family. effectively deprived of the alternative choices under Article 223 of the Labor Code. the Court finds no reversible error. 2003 and Resolution of April 16. Then again. as discussed by Justice Leonardo Quisumbing in his Separate Opinion. the state of corporate rehabilitation was judicially predetermined by a competent court and not formulated for the first time in this case by respondent. Insofar as the Court of Appeals Decision of December 5. not to mention the subsistence of the injunction on claims. the obligation to pay the employee’s salaries upon the employer’s failure to exercise the alternative options under Article 223 of the Labor Code is not a hard and fast rule. SO ORDERED.

Accused were the following: Petitioner herein.200. and of mandamus to direct the said court to forward his appeal to this Court for the reason that he was raising purely questions of law. Charlie Doe and Paul Doe. Roger Chavez. No. respondents. was for qualified theft of a motor vehicle. Lorenzo Meneses alias "Lory" Meneses. on habeas corpus. Peter Doe.: The thrust of petitioner's case presented in his original and supplementary petitions invoking jurisdiction of this Court is that he is entitled. Motor No. L-29169 August 19. J. that. should he fail in this. Luis Asistio alias "Baby" Asistio.R. too. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS. petitioner.00. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and THE WARDEN OF THE CITY JAIL OF MANILA. SANCHEZ. with Plate No. Pedro Rebullo alias "Pita". Ricardo Sumilang alias "Romeo Vasquez".2 . one (1) Thunderbird car. The indictment in the court below — the third amended information — upon which the judgment of conviction herein challenged was rendered. There is his prayer. vs. H9YH-143003. to be freed from imprisonment upon the ground that in the trial which resulted in his conviction1 he was denied his constitutional right not to be compelled to testify against himself. he be granted the alternative remedies of certiorari to strike down the two resolutions of the Court of Appeals dismissing his appeal for failure to file brief. Pascual alias "Ging" Pascual. 1968 ROGER CHAVEZ.EN BANC G. Fernandez and Fausto Arce for petitioner. H-16648 Pasay City '62 together with its accessories worth P22. Edgardo P. Estanislao E. Office of the Solicitor General for respondents.

in asporting the motor vehicle above-described. The trial opened with the following dialogue. is here reproduced:. all the accused. abuse of confidence and without the consent of the owner thereof. Dy Sun Hiok y Lim. COURT: . ATTY. 1962. with intent of gain. in Quezon City. Upon arraignment. except the three Does who have not been identified nor apprehended. 1963. FISCAL GRECIA: Our first witness is Roger Chavez [one of the accused]. COURT: The parties may proceed. which for the great bearing it has on this case. trial commenced before the judge presiding Branch IX of the Court of First Instance of Rizal in Quezon City. CARBON [Counsel for petitioner Chavez]: I am quite taken by surprise. I object.Averred in the aforesaid information was that on or about the 14th day of November. with this move of the Fiscal in presenting him as his witness.1äwphï1. the accused conspired. pleaded not guilty.ñët On July 23. as counsel for the accused Roger Chavez.

COURT: The Court will give counsel for Roger Chavez fifteen minutes within which to confer and explain to his client about the giving of his testimony. my client is being presented as witness for the prosecution. COURT (To the Fiscal): You are not withdrawing the information against the accused Roger Chavez by making [him a] state witness?.On what ground. ATTY. ATTY. CARBON: As a matter of right. It is really surprising that at this stage. CARBON: On the ground that I have to confer with my client. without my being notified by the Fiscal. because it will incriminate my client. . I am only presenting him as an ordinary witness. I object. I want to say in passing that it is only at this very moment that I come to know about this strategy of the prosecution. FISCAL GRECIA: I am not making him as state witness. Your Honor. counsel? .

I conferred with my client and he assured me that he will not testify for the prosecution this morning after I have explained to him the consequences of what will transpire. ATTY. FISCAL: We are ready to call on our first witness. CARBON: As per understanding. counsel. And there is the right of the prosecution to ask anybody to act as witness on the witness-stand including the accused.xxx xxx xxx COURT: [after the recess] Are the parties ready? . Roger Chavez. COURT: What he will testify to does not necessarily incriminate him. the proceeding was suspended in order to enable me to confer with my client. .

But surely.If there should be any question that is incriminating then that is the time for counsel to interpose his objection and the court will sustain him if and when the court feels that the answer of this witness to the question would incriminate him. Counsel has all the assurance that the court will not require the witness to answer questions which would incriminate him. . xxx xxx xxx ATTY. counsel could not object to have the accused called on the witnessstand. CARBON: I submit. This representation has been apprised of the witnesses embraced in the information. CRUZ [Counsel for defendants Pascual and Meneses]: . ATTY. For which reason I pray this court that I be given at least some days to meet whatever testimony this witness will bring about. MAY IT PLEASE THE COURT: This incident of the accused Roger Chavez being called to testify for the prosecution is something so sudden that has come to the knowledge of this counsel. I therefore move for postponement of today's hearing.

after being duly sworn according to law. declared as follows: ATTY. CRUZ: I labored under the impression that the witnesses for the prosecution in this criminal case are those only listed in the information. I did not know until this morning that one of the accused will testify as witness for the prosecution. IBASCO [Counsel for defendant Luis Asistio]: .COURT: The court will give counsel time within which to prepare his cross-examination of this witness. buy and sell merchant. EVIDENCE FOR THE PROSECUTION ROGER CHAVEZ. 31 years old. COURT: That's the reason why the court will go along with counsels for the accused and will give them time within which to prepare for their cross-examination of this witness. ATTY. presently detained at the Manila Police Department headquarters. The court will not defer the taking of the direct examination of the witness. Call the witness to the witness stand. single.

Under Rule 123.3 And so did the trial proceed. Q-5311. IBASCO: I submit. 1965. it states: 'The act or declaration of a conspirator relating to the conspiracy and during its existence. Roger Chavez is one of the accused in this case No.' COURT: That is premature. Section 12. The information alleges conspiracy.WITH THE LEAVE OF THE COURT: This witness. COURT: The Fiscal may proceed. Came the judgment of February 1. It began with the "direct examination" of Roger Chavez by "Fiscal Grecia". ATTY. The version of the prosecution as found by the court below may be briefly narrated as follows: . may be given in evidence against the co-conspirator after the conspiracy is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. Neither the court nor counsels for the accused know what the prosecution events to establish by calling this witness to the witness stand. counsel.

With Ricardo Sumilang (movie actor Romeo Vasquez) in mind. on November 12. he told Chavez that he wanted to mortgage his Buick car for P10. already lent Romeo Vasquez P3. Asistio however told the two that he had a better idea on how to raise the money. Sometime in the afternoon. Upon the suggestion of Chavez. So did Chavez. The two Chinese could not locate .00 on the same Buick car. The deed of sale and other papers remained in the pockets of Johnson Lee. known to Chavez for the drafting of the deed of sale. and Sumilang's driver and Johnson Lee the witnesses thereto. He furnished the name of Johnson Lee who was selling his Thunderbird.000. who he knew was lending money on car mortgages and who. After Sumilang and Lee agreed on the purchase price (P21. a Chinese. His plan was to capitalize on Romeo Vasquez' reputation as a wealthy movie star. As payment was to be made at Eugene's restaurant in Quezon City. Thereafter. introduce him as a buyer to someone who was selling a car and.A few days before November 12. they went to see a lawyer notary public in Quezon City. it was signed by Sumilang as the vendee. Chavez met Sumilang at a barbershop informed him about the Thunderbird.4 Then. Dy Sun Hiok the vendor. Sumilang was introduced as the interested buyer. who disappeared after he left on the pretext of buying cigarettes. 1äwphï1. they went to see Luis Asistio. driving a Thunderbird car. the two Chinese were left alone in the restaurant. After the deed of sale was drawn up. Sumilang's driver inspected the car. after the deed of sale is signed. they went to Binondo to Johnson Lee's cousin.ñët In the morning of November 14. Lee answered affirmatively and left his address with Chavez. Chavez known to be a car agent was included in the plan. Asistio would then register it. a man approached Sumilang with a note which stated that the money was ready at the Dalisay Theater. all of them then drove in the Thunderbird car to that place.00). who had left the table to pose for pictures with some fans and come back.00 to cover an indebtedness in Pasay City. Sumilang then wrote on the same note that the money should be brought to the restaurant. At Eugene's. Roger Chavez saw Johnson Lee. Chavez telephoned Johnson Lee and arranged for an appointment. by trickery to run away with the car.000. Chavez and Sumilang met Lee in his Thunderbird on Highway 54. again left never to return. 1962. Then. At the same time he requested Lee to exhibit the deed of sale of the car to the note bearer. took the wheel for a while. in whose name the car was registered.000. But Sumilang said that he had changed his mind about buying a new car. Chavez asked Lee whether his car was for sale. Instead. sell it to a third person for a profit. whom he knew was in the market for such a car. Dy Sun Hiok. For Sumilang. on one occasion.

000.00 cash and a golf set worth P800. Right after the meeting at Eugene's. They went out to the place where the Thunderbird was parked. Ricardo Sumilang's version.00 as the latter's share in the transaction.00-check aforesaid on condition that it should not be cashed immediately as there were not enough funds therefor.000. Sumilang saw Roger Chavez at a gas station. Chavez asked Sumilang for another P3. may be condensed as follows: In the last week of September.000.00 and P22. Sumilang gave back the P4.00 as a loan to Sumilang. a restaurant at Highway 54 near the Balintawak monument in Caloocan. corroborated in part by Asistio. the NBI recovered the already repainted car and impounded it.00. 1962. Baltazar later informed Sumilang that Chavez picked up the money the next day. He also sent a check. That check was exhibited in court.000. in the name of Asistio in Caloocan.00 was enough for the deposit.000.000.00. They then immediately reported its loss to the police. found that it was gone. . The latter informed him that there was a Thunderbird from Clark Field for sale for a price between P20.000.000. From the court's decision. Baltazar and Cailles agreed to give the money the nextday as long as the check would be left with them and Sumilang would sign a promissory note for P10. About the end of October or at the beginning of November.00. and Narsing Cailles.000. On the 14th of November. Sumilang and Chavez then went to Pasay City to see a certain Mario Baltazar.000-loan backed up by the P5. Sumilang and Chavez. Asistio handed to Sumilang P1. Baltazar gave the money after verifying the authenticity of the note. Four or five days afterwards. on October 1. the registration of the car was transferred in the name of Sumilang in Cavite City. Sumilang sent Chavez to Baltazar and Cailles. Chief of the Fire Department. Chavez said that it could be held for him with a down payment of P10. To raise this sum. went to the house of a certain Nena Hernaez de los Reyes who wrote out a check for P5. and three days later.00 to Baltazar. There.000.Sumilang and Chavez.00 to Sumilang because P6. Sumilang and Asistio converged that same day at Barrio Fiesta. again without funds. Much later. Chavez returned P4.00. Sumilang asked the two for a P10. with a note requesting that they accommodate him once more.000. And so. an agent of the Pasay City Mayor. Chavez.

Sumilang told Lee that he already paid part of the price to Chavez. So was Asistio whom .00. And they did. He saw Asistio with many companions. Asistio offered to buy it from him for P22. Two or three days afterwards. Sumilang consented to the sale. the car was impounded. After shaking hands with Lee. Chavez appeared at Sumilang's house with the news that the car was ready if Sumilang was ready with the rest of the money. the registration papers and the keys to the car. He immediately gave P6. plus P500.00 from his mother and another P4.000. When Sumilang was ready to leave Eugene's. Sumilang requested Pascual and Bimbo to sign the receipt as witnesses.00 from his aparador. "Ging" Pascual.000. offered to make out a receipt for Chavez to sign. The trial court gave evidence to Sumilang's averment. strengthened by Baltazar's and Cailles' corroborations. Sumilang dropped by the Barrio Fiesta on his way to a film shooting at Bulacan. Sumilang mentioned the proposed transaction thru Chavez. It was then that Chavez told Sumilang that the car was already bought by a Chinese who would be the vendor. and knowing Asistio's and his friends' reputation for always getting what they wanted.00 agents commission at the expense of the buyer. Asistio tendered a down payment of P1. As the offer was good. that he paid good money for the car. Sumilang drove away in the car with his driver at the wheel. After Sumilang returned from posing for some photographs with some of his fans. This receipt was offered as an exhibit by the prosecution and by Sumilang.000. Sumilang accommodated.000.On November 14. Chavez asked Sumilang for the balance. the balance he promised to pay the next day after negotiating with some financing company.00 to Chavez. Bimbo showed him the receipt already signed by Chavez. At Eugene's. Sumilang was thus cleared. A certain Bimbo.500. Before said balance could be paid. In the course of their conversation at the bar. intending to pay out the balance upon the car's delivery.00.00. Sumilang. a friend of Pascual. So Sumilang got P9. Pascual warned that Chavez was a "smart" agent and advised that Sumilang should have a receipt for his money. Johnson Lee turned over to him the deed of sale. The purchase price finally agreed upon between Sumilang and Johnson Lee was P21.000. There. Asistio liked his Thunderbird parked outside. also saw a friend.

6 The court further continued: It is not improbable that true to the saying that misery loves company Roger Chavez tried to drag his co-accused down with him by coloring his story with fabrications which he expected would easily stick together what with the newspaper notoriety of one and the sensationalism caused by the other. And so.500. one (1) day."5 The trial court branded him "a self-confessed culprit". Roger Chavez appealed to the Court of Appeals. The accused "Ging" Pascual was also acquitted for in the first place he was not identified by Johnson Lee in court. he had no one but Roger Chavez to blame. the Court would be too gullible if it were to give full credence to his words even if they concerned a man no less notorious than himself. as it does. 1965. to indemnify Dy Sun Hiok and/or Johnson Lee in the sum of P21.00. But Roger Chavez' accusations of Asistio's participation is utterly uncorroborated. his testimony as witness for the prosecution establishes his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The Thunderbird car then in the custody of the NBI was ordered to be turned over to Ricardo Sumilang. As a matter of fact.the trial court believed to be a mere buyer of the car. to undergo the accessory penalties prescribed by law. As to the other accused. eight (8) months and one (1) day as maximum. as minimum and not more than fourteen (14) years. . And coming.000. from a man who has had at least two convictions for acts not very different from those charged in this information. He was accordingly sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of not less than ten (10) years. representing the balance of the contract price for the car.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. the court had this to say: "Roger Chavez does not offer any defense.7 The trial court then came to the conclusion that if Johnson Lee was not paid for his car. however. who was directed to return to Asistio the sum of P1. The foregoing sentence was promulgated on March 8. the court found no case against Pedro Rebullo alias "Pita" and Lorenzo Meneses alias "Lory". the prosecution's theory of conspiracy was discounted.000. As to Roger Chavez. and to pay the costs.00 unless the latter chose to pay P21. The sum of all these is that the trial court freed all the accused except Roger Chavez who was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of qualified theft.

resolved to dismiss the appeal. He asks us to consider the constitutional injunction that "No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. It was at this stage that the present proceedings were commenced in this Court. and ordered remand of the case to the Quezon City court for execution of judgment. A move to reconsider was unavailing." . Marquez registered a detailed written explanation.On April 18. the Court of Appeals. we now come to grips with the main problem presented. through a per curiam resolution. and the reply. in which case."9 fully echoed in Section 1. 1. with proof. to show cause within ten days from notice why Chavez' appeal should not be considered abandoned and dismissed. on June 21. 1967 and the period for the filing thereof lapsed on January 27. despite the foregoing explanation. Rule 115. Reason for this is that said lawyer received notice to file brief on December 28. these should not be pursued here. Natividad Marquez.8 On May 14. 1968. We concentrate attention on that phase of the issues which relates petitioner's assertion that he was compelled to testify against himself. the Court of Appeals required Atty. 1968. directed the City Warden of Manila where Chavez is confined by virtue of the warrant of arrest issued by the Court of Appeals. we need not reach the others. the defendant shall be entitled: "(e) To be exempt from being a witness against himself. in all criminal prosecutions. of violation of his right — constitutionally entrenched — against self-incrimination. For. the Court of Appeals. that he be relieved of the effects thereof. and after hearing on oral arguments. He asks that the hand of this Court be made to bear down upon his conviction. Rules of Court where. 1968. On May 13. 1968. disposed to maintain its May 14 resolution dismissing the appeal. For indeed if this one question is resolved in the affirmative. counsel for Roger Chavez. Petitioner's plea on this score rests upon his averment. Upon the petitions. to turn him over to Muntinlupa Bilibid Prisons pending execution of the judgment below. the return. 1968 without any brief having been filed. She also stated that if she were allowed to file appellant's brief she would go along with the factual findings of the court below but will show however that its conclusion is erroneous. . Atty.

with one accord. 40 Law. and to give testimony regarding the offenses with which they were charged. it is mandatory. and Udal." So it is then that this right is "not merely a formal technical rule the enforcement of which is left to the discretion of the court". it is mandatory. to push him into a corner. the temptation to press. 1968). as well as in American jurisprudence. notably in those of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton. when voluntarily and freely made. and to entrap him into fatal contradictions. but upon a general and silent acquiescence of the courts in a popular demand. made the system so odious as to give rise to a demand for its total abolition. was not uncommon even in England." 13 An old Philippine case [1904] 14 speaks of this constitutional injunction as "older than the Government of the United States". however adopted. Tañada and .S. which has long obtained in the continental system. So deeply did the iniquities of the ancient system impress themselves upon the minds of the American colonists that the states. the Puritan minister. To repeat. Just a few months ago. 819. have always ranked high in the scale of incriminating evidence. But. 10 that [i]t may suit the purposes of despotic power but it can not abide the pure atmosphere of political liberty and personal freedom. made a denial of the right to question an accused person a part of their fundamental law. until the expulsion of the Stuarts from the British throne in 1688. it secures to a defendant a valuable and substantive right. Justice Malcolm. 591." 12 Mr. 821). as having "its origin in a protest against the inquisitorial methods of interrogating the accused person". and the erection of additional barriers for the protection of the people against the exercise of arbitrary power. it has become firmly embedded in English. Walker. The change in the English criminal procedure in that particular seems to be founded upon no statute and no judicial opinion. the ease with which the questions put to him may assume an inquisitorial character. and as having been adopted in the Philippines "to wipe out such practices as formerly prevailed in these Islands of requiring accused persons to submit to judicial examinations. which is so painfully evident in many of the earlier state trials." 16 It is in this context that we say that the constitutional guarantee may not be treated with unconcern. became clothed in this country with the impregnability of a constitutional enactment. Justice Harlan warned that "[t]he constitutional privilege was intended to shield the guilty and imprudent as well as the innocent and foresighted. the Supreme Court of the United States (January 29.. speaking thru Mr. While the admissions of confessions of the prisoner. so that a maxim which in England was a mere rule of evidence. ed.It has been said that forcing a man to be a witness against himself is at war with "the fundamentals of a republican government". Justice Abad Santos recounts the historical background of this constitutional inhibition. thus: " "The maxim Nemo tenetur seipsum accusare had its origin in a protest against the inquisitorial and manifestly unjust methods of interrogating accused persons. 15 it is fundamental to our scheme of justice." (Brown vs. if an accused person be asked to explain his apparent connection with a crime under investigation. the witness unduly. 161 U. it secures to every defendant a valuable and substantive right. tells us that this maxim was recognized in England in the early days "in a revolt against the thumbscrew and the rack. to browbeat him if he be timid or reluctant. and. in expressive language. 597.."11 Mr.

Because. 19 and accused may altogether refuse to take the witness stand and refuse to answer any and all questions. Navarro. But petitioner's protestations were met with the judge's emphatic statement that it "is the right of the prosecution to ask anybody to act as witness on the witness stand including the accused.Fernando (Constitution of the Philippines. as accused. So is moral coercion "tending to force testimony from the unwilling lips of the defendant. and jurisprudence. vol. and of humanity because it would be to extort a confession of truth by a kind of duress every species and degree of which the law abhors. we now turn to the facts. 21 The rule positively intends to avoid and prohibit the certainly inhuman procedure of compelling a person "to furnish the missing .. vs." 18 2. With the foregoing as guideposts. This he broadened by the clear cut statement that he will not testify.S. disable him from making a free and rational choice. genuine will. or impair his capacity for rational judgment would in our opinion be sufficient. occupies a different tier of protection from an ordinary witness. Nor may a court as much as resort to compulsory disclosure. 20 For. 583-584) take note of U. backed by the Constitution. which reaffirms the rule that the constitutional proscription was established on broad grounds of public policy and humanity. it may be the product of unintentional statements. it is his right to forego testimony. 4th ed. the purpose of calling an accused as a witness for the People would be to incriminate him. Petitioner is a defendant in a criminal case. directly or indirectly. Petitioner objected and invoked the privilege of self-incrimination. Compulsion as it is understood here does not necessarily connote the use of violence. the court may not extract from a defendant's own lips and against his will an admission of his guilt." The cumulative impact of all these is that accusedpetitioner had to take the stand. unless he chooses to take the witness stand — with undiluted. I. the law. supra. He was called by the prosecution as the first witness in that case to testify for the People during the first day of trial thereof. of policy because it would place the witness against the strongest temptation to commit perjury. 17 Therefore. Whereas an ordinary witness may be compelled to take the witness stand and claim the privilege as each question requiring an incriminating answer is shot at him. in reality. Petitioner. The foregoing situation molds a solid case for petitioner. Pressure which operates to overbear his will. unfettered exercise of his own free. pp. of facts usable against him as a confession of the crime or the tendency of which is to prove the commission of a crime." and that defense counsel "could not object to have the accused called on the witness stand. to remain silent. He was thus peremptorily asked to create evidence against himself.

they foreclosed choice. Paraphrasing Chief Justice Marshall in Aaron Burr's Trial. 208. 25 While a defendant's knowledge of the facts remains concealed within his bosom. no . The judge's words heretofore quoted — "But surely counsel could not object to have the accused called on the witness stand" — wielded authority. quoted in VIII Wigmore. Counsel has all the assurance that the court will not require the witness to answer questions which would incriminate him. petitioner was enveloped by a coercive force." 22 This rule may apply even to a co-defendant in a joint trial. 355. but draw it from thence." 24 Thus it is. And there is the right of the prosecution to ask anybody to act as witness on the witness-stand including the accused.evidence necessary for his conviction. that it was undoubtedly erroneous for the trial judge to placate petitioner with these words:. p. counsel. By those words. Robertsons Rep. and he is exposed" — to conviction. counsel could not object to have the accused called on the witness stand. they deprived him of his will to resist. But surely. If there should be any question that is incriminating then that is the time for counsel to interpose his objection and the court will sustain him if and when the court feels that the answer of this witness to the question would incriminate him. I. the realities of human nature tell us that as he took his oath to tell the truth.23 And the guide in the interpretation of the constitutional precept that the accused shall not be compelled to furnish evidence against himself "is not the probability of the evidence but it is the capability of abuse. he is safe. What he will testify to does not necessarily incriminate him. the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 244.

It cannot be said now that he has waived his right. in full breach of his constitutional right to remain silent. he claimed the right upon being called to testify. Constitutionally sound consent was absent. 3. he did not offer himself as a witness. on the contrary.genuine consent underlay submission to take the witness stand. 1äwphï1. He was a cowed participant in proceedings before a judge who possessed the power to put him under contempt had he chosen to remain silent. Here involve is not a mere question of selfincrimination. no objections to questions propounded to him were made. The record discloses that by leading questions Chavez. If petitioner nevertheless answered the questions inspite of his fear of being accused of perjury or being put under contempt. Indeed.ñët . we have no hesitancy in saying that petitioner was forced to testify to incriminate himself. Nor could he escape testifying. 26 And this statement detailed the plan and execution thereof by Sumilang (Vasquez). the damaging facts forged in the decision were drawn directly from the lips of Chavez as a prosecution witness and of course Ricardo Sumilang for the defense. 27 The decision convicting Roger Chavez was clearly of the view that the case for the People was built primarily around the admissions of Chavez himself. And he himself proceeded to narrate the same anew in open court.ñët 4. To him it was a case of compelled submission. It matters not that. It is a defendant's constitutional immunity from being called to testify against himself. The trial court described Chavez as the "star witness for the prosecution". was made to affirm his statement given to the NBI agents on July 17. The court made it abundantly clear that his testimony at least on direct examination would be taken right then and thereon the first day of the trial. His testimony is not of his own choice. that Chavez "testimony as witness for the prosecution establishes his guilt beyond reasonable doubt and that Chavez is "a self-confessed culprit". Prejudice to the accused for having been compelled over his objections to be a witness for the People is at once apparent. after all efforts to stave off petitioner's taking the stand became fruitless. the accused. Asistio and himself to deprive the Chinese of his Thunderbird car. 1äwphï1. And the objection made at the beginning is a continuing one. He identified the Thunderbird car involved in the case. He did not volunteer to take the stand and in his own defense. With all these. There are the unequivocal statements in the decision that "even accused Chavez" identified "the very same Thunderbird that Johnson Lee had offered for sale". 1963 at 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon. this circumstance cannot be counted against him.

39 the writ of habeas corpus as an extraordinary remedy must be liberally given effect 40 so as to protect well a person whose liberty is at stake. Habeas corpus is a high prerogative writ. we say again. in this wise: Since the Sixth Amendment constitutionally entitles one charged with crime to the assistance of Counsel. which precisely is the function of habeas corpus. however. If this requirement of the Sixth Amendment is not complied with. For the privilege. Zerbst. who has not intelligently waived this constitutional guaranty. 36 Thus. 37 The writ may be granted upon a judgment already final.There is therefore no waiver of the privilege. Zerbst 29 is this: "It has been pointed out that "courts indulge every reasonable presumption against waiver" of fundamental constitutional rights and that we "do not presume acquiescence in the loss of fundamental rights. a waiver must be certain and unequivocal.even to the guilty. juxtaposed with the circumstances of the case heretofore adverted to. the Sixth Amendment stands as a jurisdictional bar to a valid conviction and sentence depriving him of his liberty. 38 For. The propriety of the writ was given the nod in that case. his original claim remains valid. After a claim a witness cannot properly be held to have waived his privilege on vague and uncertain evidence." A waiver is ordinarily an intentional relinquishment or abandonment of a known right or privilege. is not represented by Counsel and has not competently and intelligently waived his constitutional right. as explained in Johnson vs." 28 The teaching in Johnson vs. defendant proved his guilt. 34 That void judgment of conviction may be challenged by collateral attack. 35 This writ may issue even if another remedy which is less effective may be availed of by the defendant." Renuntiatio non praesumitur. When this right is properly waived. such waiver following only where liberty of choice has been fully accorded. and whose life or liberty is at stake. The judgment . It cannot stand. If the accused. The foregoing guidelines. is a rampart that gives protection . compliance with this constitutional mandate is an essential jurisdictional prerequisite to a Federal Court's authority. understandably. 31 It is traditionally considered as an exceptional remedy to release a person whose liberty is illegally restrained such as when the accused's constitutional rights are disregarded. still. and intelligently. The course which petitioner takes is correct. by his own admission. 30 5. the assistance of Counsel is no longer a necessary element of the Court's jurisdiction to proceed to conviction and sentence. involving a violation of another constitutional right. "To be effective. make waiver a shaky defense. and willingly made. failure by the accused to perfect his appeal before the Court of Appeals does not preclude a recourse to the writ. A court's jurisdiction at the beginning of trial may be lost "in the course of the proceedings" due to failure to complete the court — as the Sixth Amendment requires — by providing Counsel for an accused who is unable to obtain Counsel. the court no longer has jurisdiction to proceed. 32 Such defect results in the absence or loss of jurisdiction 33 and therefore invalidates the trial and the consequent conviction of the accused whose fundamental right was violated. If.

et al. Just as we are about to write finis to our task. vs.. Quezon City Branch. judgment is hereby rendered directing the respondent Warden of the City Jail of Manila or the Director of Prisons or any other officer or person in custody of petitioner Roger Chavez by reason of the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Rizal. accused." to discharge said Roger Chavez from custody.. . unless otherwise expressly provided by law. " 42 6. we are prompted to restate that: "A void judgment is in legal effect no judgment.. From it no rights can be obtained. "to all cases of illegal confinement or detention by which any person is deprived of his liberty. 41 Under our own Rules of Court. Section 1 of Rule 102 extends the writ. All acts performed under it and all claims flowing out of it are void. kept in custody or detained for any cause or reason other than the said judgment in said Criminal Case Q-5311 of the Court of First Instance of Rizal. By it no rights are divested. Ricardo Sumilang. to grant the remedy to the accused Roger Chavez whose case presents a clear picture of disregard of a constitutional right is absolutely proper. in Criminal Case Q-5311.of conviction pronounced by a court without jurisdiction is void. Quezon City Branch. No costs. Respondents' return 43 shows that petitioner is still serving under a final and valid judgment of conviction for another offense. plaintiff. We should guard against the improvident issuance of an order discharging a petitioner from confinement. Upon the view we take of this case. or by which the rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto. Being worthless in itself. all proceedings founded upon it are equally worthless. entitled "People of the Philippines. in which event the discharge herein directed shall be effected when such other cause or reason ceases to exist. The parties attempting to enforce it may be responsible as trespassers. unless he is held. under which he was prosecuted and convicted. So ordered. and one imprisoned thereunder may obtain release of habeas corpus. It neither binds nor bars any one. The position we take here is that petitioner herein is entitled to liberty thru habeas corpus only with respect to Criminal Case Q-5311 of the Court of First Instance of Rizal. . Quezon City Branch.

Sheriff IV of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Davao City. vs. On the strength of the said order. 2005.5 In his Affidavit-Complaint6 against Andres before the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA). RESOLUTION QUISUMBING. Branch 16. Kenneth Hao and John Does. Atty. Hao also discovered that the compound where the seized motor vehicles were placed is actually owned by Silver.7 . 2005. Hao also averred that Andres was accompanied by unidentified armed personnel on board a military vehicle which was excessive since there were no resistance from them. Branch 16. grave abuse of authority (oppression) and violation of Republic Act No. or a total of nine motor vehicles. Regional Trial Court. Amado Cantos." pending before the RTC of Davao City. 2005. ANDRES. Davao City. The antecedent facts are as follows: Complainant Hao is one of the defendants in a civil case for replevin docketed as Civil Case No. Branch 16. Fuentes3 issued an Order of Seizure4 against 22 motor vehicles allegedly owned by the complainant. Andres. and another three on October 19. 2005. 127-20052 entitled "Zenaida Silver. On October 17. Hao alleged that Andres gave undue advantage to Zenaida Silver in the implementation of the order and that Andres seized the nine motor vehicles in an oppressive manner. 30191 filed by complainant Kenneth Hao against respondent Abe C. Loreto Hao. complainant. ABE C. Sheriff IV. doing trade and business under the name and style ZHS Commercial v. 31.Replevin KENNETH HAO. respondent. Judge Renato A. Andres was able to seize two of the subject motor vehicles on October 17.: Before us is an administrative complaint for gross neglect of duty. four on October 18. J.

2005. in view of the approval of the complainant’s counter-replevin bond. 2005. claiming that the presence of the policemen was only for the purpose of preserving peace and order. In his report. 2005. one of the policemen guarding the subject motor vehicles. much less of those who will guard the seized motor vehicles. Andres vehemently denied violating Rep. Cuy. He said he took the vehicles because they were the specific vehicles ordered to be seized after checking their engine and chassis numbers. Hao reported that three of the carnapped vehicles were recovered by the police. Subsequently. PO3 Rodrigo Despe. 2006.9 However. 3019 and committing gross neglect of duty. Judge Emmanuel C. He narrated that on October 21. Hao also accused Andres of concealing the depository receipts from them and pointed out that the depository receipts show that Silver and Atty. considering there were 22 motor vehicles specified in the Order of Seizure. Andres denied implementing the Order of Seizure in an oppressive manner. He claimed that he was merely escorted by policemen pursuant to the directive of Police Senior Supt. 2005. eight of the nine seized motor vehicles were reported missing. . and to return the seized motor vehicles including its accessories to their lawful owners.On October 21.10 Andres stated that he was shocked to find that the motor vehicles were already missing when he inspected it on October 22. Oswaldo Macadangdang (Silver’s counsel) and the policemen in the carnapping of the motor vehicles. 2005.11 But Andres claimed the motor vehicles were still intact when he inspected it on October 21. Chief of the Davao City Police Office.12 He then accused Andres of conspiring and conniving with Atty. Macadangdang were the ones who chose the policemen who will guard the motor vehicles. Catalino S. Andres added that he exercised no discretion in the selection of the policemen who assisted in the implementation of the order. Carpio8 ordered Andres to immediately cease and desist from further implementing the order of seizure. Andres likewise denied that he was accompanied by military personnel in the implementation of the order. In his Comment13 dated March 3. Andres also maintained that no form of harassment or oppression was committed during the implementation of the order. reported to him that a certain "Nonoy" entered the compound and caused the duplication of the vehicles’ keys. on October 24. Act No.

Judge Fuentes found numerous irregularities in the implementation of the writ of replevin/order of seizure. He even used the same in the filing of the carnapping case against Silver and her co-conspirators. report and recommendation. Hence. He added that the policemen had control of the compound where the seized motor vehicles were kept. He said the existence of the depository receipts was immediately made known on the same day that the subject motor vehicles were discovered missing.14 He negated the speculations that he was involved in the disappearance of the seized motor vehicles as he claims to be the one who reported the incident to the court and the police. Andres maintained that he never denied the existence of the depository receipts. Macadangdang to get a keymaster to duplicate the vehicles’ keys in order to take one motor vehicle. Andres likewise contended that after the unauthorized duplication of the vehicles’ keys was reported to him. he prays that he be held not liable for the loss of the vehicles and that he be relieved of his duty to return the vehicles. (2) one vehicle was taken without the knowledge of its owner.15 After the OCA recommended that the matter be investigated. Judge Fuentes observed that the motor vehicles were speedily seized without strictly observing fairness and regularity in its implementation. He recommended that Andres be suspended from office. Judge Fuentes found Andres guilty of serious negligence in the custody of the nine motor vehicles. we referred the case to Executive Judge Renato A.Andres disputed the allegation that he neglected his duty to safeguard the seized vehicles by pointing out that he placed all the motor vehicles under police watch. Macadangdang regarding the implementation of the writ and was accompanied by the latter in the course of the implementation. he immediately advised the policemen on duty to watch the motor vehicles closely. (3) Andres allowed Atty. to wit: (1) at the time of the implementation of the writ.18 . As to the allegation of undisclosed depository receipts. and (4) Andres admitted that prior to the implementation of the writ of seizure. but is even adopted by the court.16 In his Investigation Report17 dated September 21. Finally. Fuentes for investigation. a certain Junard Escudero. 2006. Andres knew that the vehicles to be seized were not in the names of any of the parties to the case. he consulted Silver and Atty. Andres insisted that the guarding of properties under custodia legis by policemen is not prohibited.

Being an officer of the court. (5) except for PO3 Despe and SPO4 Nelson Salcedo. affidavit and bond. and must forthwith take the property. who was merely known to him as "Gloria". he did not exert his best effort to look for that "Nonoy" and to confiscate the duplicated keys. The Rules. the identities of the other policemen tapped to guard the compound were unknown to Andres. (4) Andres does not even know the full name of the owner of the compound. Andres also gave inconsistent testimonies as to whether he has in his possession the depository receipts.19 Judge Fuentes also observed that Andres appeared to be more or less accommodating to Silver and her counsel but hostile and uncooperative to the complainant. He pointed out that Andres depended solely on Silver in the selection of the policemen who would guard the seized motor vehicles. (3) Andres turned over the key of the gate to the policemen guarding the motor vehicles. the pertinent provisions of Rule 60.20 The OCA disagreed with the observations of Judge Fuentes. and (7) even after it was reported to him that a certain "Nonoy" entered the compound and duplicated the keys of the motor vehicles. Duty of the sheriff. If . To recapitulate what should be common knowledge to sheriffs. (6) Andres also admitted that he only stayed at least one hour each day from October 19-21. or his agent. He added that even the depository receipts were not turned over to the defendants/third-party claimants in the replevin case but were in fact concealed from them.21 We adopt the recommendation of the investigating judge. together with a copy of the application. the sheriff must serve a copy thereof on the adverse party. (2) three motor vehicles were left outside the compound. Judge Fuentes pointed out several instances where Andres lacked due diligence to wit: (1) the seized motor vehicles were placed in a compound surrounded by an insufficiently locked see-through fence. It recommended that Andres be held liable only for simple neglect of duty and be suspended for one (1) month and one (1) day.Anent the safekeeping of the seized motor vehicles. of the Rules of Court are quoted hereunder: SEC. if it be in the possession of the adverse party. Andres must be aware that there are well-defined steps provided in the Rules of Court regarding the proper implementation of a writ of replevin and/or an order of seizure. is explicit on the duty of the sheriff in its implementation. 4. and retain it in his custody. likewise.–Upon receiving such order. 2005 during his visits to the compound.

It matters not that Silver was in possession of the seized vehicles merely for safekeeping as stated in the depository receipts. or of the surety or sureties thereon. After the sheriff has taken possession of the property as herein provided. he must keep it in a secure place and shall be responsible for its delivery to the party entitled thereto upon receiving his fees and necessary expenses for taking and keeping the same. the sheriff must return it to the adverse party. Silver received from Andres six of the seized motor vehicles. the sheriff must demand its delivery.23 Hence. Rule 60 of the Rules of Court with regard to the proper disposal of the property. as evidenced by the depository receipts. 2005. (Emphasis supplied. or no more than three days after the taking of the vehicles. the adverse party does not object to the sufficiency of the bond. (Emphasis supplied. four on October 18. the act of Andres in delivering the seized vehicles immediately after seizure to Silver for whatever purpose. Thus. Andres should have waited no less than five days in order to give the complainant an opportunity to object to the sufficiency of the bond or of the surety or sureties thereon. and if it be not delivered. without observing the five-day requirement finds no legal justification. he failed to do. This. the rules provide that property seized under a writ of replevin is not to be delivered immediately to the plaintiff. The rule is clear that the property seized should not be immediately delivered to the plaintiff. or if the adverse party requires the return of the property but his bond is objected to and found insufficient and he does not forthwith file an approved bond. on October 18. 2005. and three more motor vehicles on October 19. 2005. Records show that Andres took possession of two of the subject motor vehicles on October 17. Disposition of property by sheriff. Simultaneously.) SEC. Andres committed a clear violation of Section 6. the property shall be delivered to the applicant. he must cause the building or enclosure to be broken open and take the property into his possession. 6. or if the adverse party so objects and the court affirms its approval of the applicant’s bond or approves a new bond. If for any reason the property is not delivered to the applicant. there is no question that Silver was already in possession of the nine seized vehicles immediately after seizure.the property or any part thereof be concealed in a building or enclosure. 2005. or require the return of the seized motor vehicles by filing a counter-bond.–If within five (5) days after the taking of the property by the sheriff. . and the sheriff must retain custody of the seized property for at least five days.) First. 2005. Consequently.22 In accordance with the said rules. and another three on October 19.

he should have sought prior authorization from the court issuing the writ before delivering the vehicles to Silver. Third. Neither did he immediately report the incident to the police or to the court. Valino.…27 (Emphasis supplied. when he passed his duty to safeguard the motor vehicles to Silver.24 this Court held that …Respondent as an officer of the Court is charged with certain ministerial duties which must be performed faithfully to the letter.In Pardo v. Hence. It is obvious that the vehicles were put at risk by the unauthorized duplication of the keys of the vehicles. the property seized under a writ of replevin is not to be delivered immediately to the plaintiff. If this was not feasible. such property is in custodia legis. The loss of the motor vehicles could have been prevented if Andres immediately asked the court for an order to transfer the vehicles to another secured place as soon as he discovered the unauthorized duplication. the purpose of the five (5) days is to give a chance to the defendant to object to the sufficiency of the bond or the surety or sureties thereon or require the return of the property by filing a counterbond.28 The alleged lack of facility to store the seized vehicles is unacceptable considering that he should have deposited the same in a bonded warehouse. It violates the rule requiring him to safekeep the vehicles in his custody. Regardless of who actually owns the compound. even an ordinary prudent man would have exercised extra diligence. The sheriff must retain it in his custody for five days and he shall return it to the defendant. requires its return and files a counterbond. His . Second. the fact remains that Andres delivered the vehicles to Silver prematurely. In this case.…25 (Emphasis supplied.26 this Court reiterated that Under the Revised Rules of Court.) In Sebastian v. Andres’ claim that he had no knowledge that the compound is owned by Silver fails to convince us. Andres failed to take extra precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the vehicles. Every provision in the Revised Rules of Court has a specific reason or objective. it must be stressed that from the moment an order of delivery in replevin is executed by taking possession of the property specified therein. it is Andres’ duty to safekeep the seized motor vehicles. if the latter. Velasco. As legal custodian. we are appalled that even after PO3 Despe reported the unauthorized duplication of the vehicles’ keys. as in the instant case.) Likewise. he committed a clear neglect of duty. Under these circumstances.

the procedure for the execution of writs and other processes are: First. he also allowed Silver to pay directly to the policemen the expenses for the safeguarding .29 Hence. the approved estimated expenses shall be deposited by the interested party with the Clerk of Court and ex officio sheriff. Under Section 9.warning to the policemen to closely watch the vehicles was insufficient. Andres cannot toss back to Silver or to the policemen the responsibility for the loss of the motor vehicles since he remains chiefly responsible for their safekeeping as legal custodian thereof. the eventual loss of the motor vehicles rendered the order to return the seized vehicles ineffectual to the prejudice of the complaining owners. Andres’ failure to take the necessary precaution and proper monitoring of the vehicles to ensure its safety constitutes plain negligence. must discharge their duties with great care and diligence. and Fifth. the executing sheriff shall liquidate his expenses within the same period for rendering a return on the writ. Without approval of the court. high standards of performance are expected of them. the Clerk of Court shall disburse the amount to the executing sheriff. Instead of returning the motor vehicles immediately as directed. the sheriff must make an estimate of the expenses to be incurred by him.31 Rule 141 of the Rules of Court. sheriffs. Fourth. it was Andres’ responsibility to ensure that the motor vehicles were safely kept and that the same were readily available upon order of the court or demand of the parties concerned. no estimate of sheriff’s expenses was submitted to the court by Andres. In this case. we agree that Andres also disregarded the provisions of Rule 14130 of the Rules of Court with regard to payment of expenses. they cannot afford to err without affecting adversely the proper dispensation of justice. Second. being ranking officers of the court and agents of the law. In serving and implementing court writs. It must be stressed that as court custodian. Indeed. Fifth. he opted to write Silver and demand that she put up an indemnity bond to secure the third-party claims. Consequently. as well as processes and orders of the court. due to his delay. Andres failed to return the motor vehicles to their lawful owners. Fourth. despite the cease and desist order. as found by the OCA. Specifically. Sheriffs play an important role in the administration of justice and as agents of the law. his failure to return the motor vehicles at the time when its return was still feasible constitutes another instance of neglect of duty. Third. he must obtain court approval for such estimated expenses.

on the other hand. this practice departed from the accepted procedure provided in the Rules of Court. or the frequency of instances. we likewise agree with the observations of the investigating judge. taking into account the numerous times he was found negligent and careless of his duties coupled with his utter disregard of legal procedures.35 Thus. Those responsible for such act or omission cannot escape the disciplinary power of this Court. As we have previously ruled: …Gross negligence refers to negligence characterized by the want of even slight care. Thus. Records show that Andres started enforcing the writ of replevin/order of seizure on the same day that the order of seizure was issued. there is no doubt that Andres failed to live up to the standards required of his position. In view of the foregoing. he cannot be considered guilty merely of simple negligence.) …Gross neglect.34 (Emphasis supplied.) Good faith on the part of Andres. and so above suspicion and mistrust as well. it behooves him to make due compliance. an act of gross neglect resulting in loss of properties in custodia legis ruins the confidence lodged by the parties to a suit or the citizenry in our judicial process. He also admitted that he took the vehicles of persons who are not parties to the replevin case. in proceeding to properly execute his mandate would be of no moment. His acts constitute gross negligence. Anent the allegation of grave abuse of authority (oppression). The number of instances that Andres strayed from the regular course observed in the proper implementation of the orders of the court cannot be countenanced. He is expected to live up to the exacting standards of his office and his conduct must at all times be characterized by rectitude and forthrightness. becomes so serious in its character as to endanger or threaten the public welfare.36 He further admitted that .…33 (Emphasis supplied. is such neglect from the gravity of the case. not inadvertently but willfully and intentionally. for he is chargeable with the knowledge that being an officer of the court tasked therefor. with a conscious indifference to consequences in so far as other persons may be affected. The term does not necessarily include willful neglect or intentional official wrongdoing. or lack of it. acting or omitting to act in a situation where there is a duty to act.32 Obviously. It is the omission of that care which even inattentive and thoughtless men never fail to take on their own property.of the motor vehicles including their meals.

When a writ is placed in the hands of a sheriff.39 However. the resolution thereof cannot be threshed out in the instant administrative proceeding. Hence. We also take note that there is a pending criminal case for carnapping against Andres. However. these are indications that Andres enforced the order of seizure with undue haste and without giving the complainant prior notice or reasonable time to deliver the motor vehicles. Andres is guilty of grave abuse of authority (oppression). as to the charge of graft and corruption. it must be stressed that the same is criminal in nature. the prudent recourse for Andres is to desist from executing the order and convey the information to his judge and to the plaintiff. it is his duty. thus. Rule IV. the penalty to be imposed should be that corresponding to the most serious charge or count and the rest shall be considered as aggravating circumstances.37 Certainly. While the penalty imposable for grave abuse of authority (oppression) is suspension for six (6) months one (1) day to one (1) year. but equally true is the principle that sheriffs by the nature of their functions must at all times conduct themselves with propriety and decorum and act above suspicion. We come to the matter of penalties. of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service provides that if the respondent is found guilty of two or more charges or counts. The sheriff is at the front line as representative of the judiciary and by his act he may build or destroy the institution. The imposable penalty for gross neglect of duty is dismissal.41 Section 55. True. There must be no room for anyone to conjecture that sheriffs and deputy sheriffs as officers of the court have conspired with any of the parties to a case to obtain a favorable judgment or immediate execution. with more reason that we cannot rule on the allegation of graft and corruption as it may preempt the court in its resolution of the said case. to proceed with reasonable celerity and promptness to execute it according to its mandate. the prompt implementation of an order of seizure is called for only in instances where there is no question regarding the right of the plaintiff to the property. .he took one vehicle belonging to a certain Junard Escudero without the latter’s knowledge and even caused the duplication of its keys in order that it may be taken by Andres. sheriffs must comply with their mandated ministerial duty to implement writs promptly and expeditiously.40 hence. in the absence of any instructions to the contrary.38 Where there is such a question.

SO ORDERED. Branch 16. hence. following Sections 5342 and 54. a lighter penalty than dismissal from the service would suffice. Consequently. WHEREFORE. the penalty of suspension from office for one (1) year without pay is proper for gross neglect of duty.In the instant case. instead of imposing the penalty of dismissal. RTC of Davao City. the Court finds Abe C.43 Rule IV of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. However. . and another six (6) months should be added for the aggravating circumstance of grave abuse of authority (oppression). Andres. Sheriff IV. GUILTY of gross neglect of duty and grave abuse of authority (oppression) and is SUSPENDED for one (1) year and six (6) months without pay. He is also hereby WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar offenses in the future shall be dealt with more severely. we have to consider that Andres is a first-time offender. the penalty for the more serious offense which is dismissal should be imposed on Andres.

docketed as Special Proceeding No. SP No. He adduced the following reasons: firstly. she cannot provide proper care to the children.Support Wilson Sy . secondly.R.[5] . The following are the antecedents: On 19 January 1994. Branch 48. 94-69002. 38936 and its Resolution[3] dated 15 April 1996 denying his motion for reconsideration. Respondent prayed that said writ be issued ordering petitioner to produce their minor children Vanessa and Jeremiah before the court and that after hearing. Petitioner maintained that respondent was unfit to take custody of the minors. petitioner Wilson Sy assails the Decision[2] dated 29 February 1996 of the Court of Appeals in C.[4] In his answer. G. petitioner prayed that the custody of the minors be awarded to him instead. and thirdly. respondent abandoned her family in 1992. their care and custody be awarded to her as their mother.A. respondent Mercedes Tan Uy-Sy filed a petition for habeas corpus against petitioner Wilson Sy before the Regional Trial Court of Manila. she is mentally unstable.versus - COURT OF APPEALS In this Petition for Review on Certiorari[1] under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

The Court of Appeals held that petitioner was not able to substantiate his contention that respondent was unfit to have custody of the children. judgment is hereby rendered maintaining to the petitioner the custody of the minors Vanessa and Jeremiah. The Court of Appeals did not find any reason to disturb the conclusions of the trial court. the amount of P50. the appellate court found instead that respondent had been driven away by petitioner’s family because of religious differences.000. herein respondent. Respondent’s stay in Taiwan likewise could hardly be called abandonment as she had gone there to earn enough money to reclaim her children. and the temporary arrangement of the custody made by the parties during pendency of this proceeding is hereby revoked. to wit: WHEREFORE. however.00 per month. all surnamed Uy-Sy.[7] The Court of Appeals found no merit in the appeal and affirmed the decision of the trial court.After trial. and (2) in ordering him to provide respondent support in the amount of P50. The Court further orders the respondent to pay by way of monthly support for the minors.00 payable to petitioner from [the] date of judgment for failure on the part of respondent to show by preponderance of evidence that the petitioner is unfit to the custody of the minor children who are only 6 and 4 years old. Neither could respondent’s act of praying outdoors in the rain be considered as evidence of insanity as it may simply be an expression of one’s faith.[6] Petitioner appealed the order of the trial court to the Court of Appeals.000. Regarding the allegation that respondent was unable to provide for a decent dwelling f or . and without any further effect. without. Before the appellate court. he alleged that the trial court erred: (1) in awarding the custody of the minor children solely to respondent. On respondent’s supposed abandonment of the family. particularly petitioner’s failure to prove by preponderance of evidence that respondent was unfit to take custody over the minor children. prejudice to the visitorial rights of the father. the trial court caused the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus and awarded custody of the children to respondent.

Regarding the third issue.[11] Hence. respondent maintains that the amount of support awarded is correct and proper. As to the propriety of the amount awarded. . Anent the second issue.the minors.[12] There is no merit in the petition regarding the question of care and custody of the children. (2) the Court of Appeals had no jurisdiction to award support in a habeas corpus case as: (a) support was neither alleged nor prayed for in the petition. to provide a fair indication of his resources. the appellate court was satisfied with respondent’s proof of her financial ability to provide her children with the necessities of life. At any rate. unreasonable and tantamount to a clear deprivation of property without due process of law. the appellate court was unwilling to alter the trial court’s conclusion for petitioner did not forthrightly testify on his actual income. to the contrary. having failed to raise it before the appellate court. and (c) Section 6. respondent takes refuge in the appellate court’s statement that the questions regarding the care and custody of children may properly be adjudicated in a habeas corpus case. Rule 99 of the Rules of Court does not apply because the trial court failed to consider the Civil Code provisions on support. respondent claims that petitioner had lost his privilege to raise the first issue.000. the appellate court declared that a judgment of support is never final and petitioner is not precluded at any time from seeking a modification of the same and produce evidence of his claim.[8] As to the second assignment of error. Neither did he produce income tax returns or other competent evidence.[10]P50. He was questioned about his sources of income for the purpose of determining his ability to give support. unjust. although within his power to do so.00 as support is arbitrary. Moreover. petitioner was properly heard on the matter relative to the issue of support. this appeal by certiorari wherein petitioner asserts that: (1) the Court of Appeals erred in awarding the custody of the minor children solely to respondent. (b) there was no express or implied consent on the part of the parties to litigate the issue. and (3) the award of For her part.[9] Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the Court of Appeals’ decision but the same was denied. the Court of Appeals held that questions as to care and custody of children may be properly raised in a petition for writ of habeas corpus.

social and moral welfare of the child concerned. No child under seven years of age shall be separated from the mother. In case of separation of the parents. the custody of the minor children shall be awarded to the innocent spouse. custody. especially the choice of the child over seven years of age. habitual drunkenness or poverty. taking into account the respective resources and social and moral situations of the contending parents. without decree of the court.[13] But when the husband and wife are living separately and apart from each other. parental authority shall be exercised by the parent designated by the Court.[15] . In case of legal separation of the parents. unless otherwise directed by the court in the interest of the minor children. and control of each child as will be for his best interest. educational. the court shall award the care. permitting the child to choose which parent he prefers to live with if he is over seven (7) years of age unless the parent so chosen be unfit to take charge of the child by reason of moral depravity. unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise. unless the parent is unfit. the sole and foremost consideration is the physical.[14] In all controversies regarding the custody of minors.The applicable provision is Section 213 of the Family Code which states that: Section 213. The Court shall take into account all relevant considerations.

and control of the child. Either parent may appeal from an order .However. or commit it to any suitable asylum. or poverty. custody and control of a child or children of their marriage is brought before a Regional Trial Court by petition or as an incident to any other proceeding.*16+ Generally. her moral dereliction will not have any effect upon the baby who is as yet unable to understand the situation.[18] This preference favoring the mother over the father is even reiterated in Section 6. If upon such hearing. Proceedings as to child whose parents are separated. care. in recommending the preference for the mother. supervision but also have the advantage and benefit of a mother’s love and devotion for which there is no substitute. solicitude and devotion of a mother cannot be replaced by another and are worth more to a child of tender years than all other things combined. 6. the law favors the mother if she is a fit and proper person to have custody of her children so that they may not only receive her attention. The exception allowed by the rule has to be for “compelling reasons” for the good of the child: those cases must indeed be rare. the love. No man can sound the deep sorrows of a mother who is deprived of her child of tender age. and the question as to the care. unless the parent so chosen be unfit to take charge of the child by reason of moral depravity. the court may either designate the paternal or maternal grandparent of the child. incapacity. thus: The general rule is recommended in order to avoid many a tragedy where a mother has seen her baby torn away from her. explained. and may make any order that is just and reasonable permitting the parent who is deprived of its care and custody to visit the child or have temporary custody thereof. the penalty of imprisonment and the (relative) divorce decree will ordinarily be sufficient punishment for her. the court.[17] The Civil Code Commission. to wit: SEC. Rule 99 of the Rules of Court (the Rule on Adoption and Custody of Minors) underscoring its significance. irrespective of who may be its custodian. or his oldest brother or sister. custody and control of each such child as will be for its best interest. ? When husband and wife are divorced or living separately and apart from each other. The court may in conformity with the provisions of the Civil Code order either or both parents to support or help support said child. or some reputable and discreet person to take charge of such child. Appeal. habitual drunkenness. permitting the child to choose which parent it prefers to live with if it be over ten years of age. if the mother’s heart is not to be unduly hurt. as in cases of adultery. it appears that both parents are improper persons to have the care. children’s home. or benevolent society. If she has erred. Moreover. upon hearing the testimony as may be pertinent. custody. shall award the care.

The Empire Ins. such as a case for habeas corpus.[19] Consequently.made in accordance with the provisions of this section. No child under seven years of age shall be separated from its mother. but it shall not be paid except from the date of judicial or extrajudicial demand. absent any compelling reason to the contrary. Now. petitioner’s contention that respondent is unfit to have custody over the minor children has not been substantiated as found by both courts below. and Jocson Lagniton[20] explains the rationale for this rule: . the trial court was correct in restoring the custody of the children to the mother. Evidently. Article 203 of the Family Code states that the obligation to give support is demandable from the time the person who has a right to receive the same needs it for maintenance. the determination of whether the mother is fit or unfit to have custody over the children is a matter well within the sound discretion of the trial court. the issue of support. Co. it is already too late for petitioner to reiterate the assertion for only questions of law may be raised before this Court. the Court affirms the award of custody in respondent’s favor. and unless it is shown that said discretion has been abused the selection will not be interfered with. herein respondent. (Emphasis supplied) The above-quoted provision expressly acknowledges and authorizes that the matter of care and custody of the children may be raised and adjudicated as an incident to any proceeding. Furthermore. The case of Jocson v. Moreover. unless the court finds there are compelling reasons therefor. the children being less than seven years of age. Thus. at least at the time the case was decided.

290. In addition. Petitioner would have us believe. Tolentino. the Court agrees with the courts below that Section 6. p. viz: . expressly or impliedly. to try the issue of support. petitioner claims that he did not give consent to the trial and the threshing out of the issue as it was not raised in the pleadings. 298. was ever demanded from their father and the need for it duly established. that since respondent’s petition did not include a prayer*23+ for support of the children in accordance with the above-quoted Family Code provision. it does not appear that support for the minors.[25] Besides. he testified on his financial status only to prove that he is financially able to provide for his children and not for the purpose of determining the amount of support. the trial court was not justified in awarding support in respondent’s favor. The need for support. and the law presumes that such necessity does not exist unless support is demanded (Civil Code of the Philippines. 1. he contends that the trial court did not order the amendment of the pleadings to conform to the evidence presented pursuant to Section 5[26] Rule 10 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.[27] The Court is not convinced. In the present case. 70 Phil. For the right to support does not arise from the mere fact of relationship.x x x Support does include what is necessary for the education and clothing of the person entitled thereto (Art. but “from imperative necessity without which it cannot be demanded. respondent testified during trial. New Civil Code). Estacio. be it only for their education and clothing. as already stated. Marcelo v. regarding the need for support for the children’s education and other necessities. Vol. Annotated. 181. Rule 99[22] of the Rules of Court permits the ventilation of the question regarding the care and custody of the children as an incident to any proceeding. an aspect that supports his contention that the parties never consented. New Civil Code. cannot be presumed. and especially must this be true in the present case where it appears that the minors had means of their own. But support must be demanded and the right to it established before it becomes payable (Art. even a habeas corpus proceeding. 215). Contrary to petitioner’s assertions.[21] As intimated earlier. even from the relationship of parents and children. citing 8 Manresa 685). however. without any objection on petitioner’s part.[24] He claims that in fact.

sir. is it not? A: Yes.00. Q: What else? A: For education. the custody of the two minors[. Q: In your estimate.] require some expenses on your part notwithstanding that you said you have savings intended for them.000. I think. sir. Sy.] of course[. . for emergency expenses. how much would these expenses be per month? A: Well. Q: Ms.ADD’L DIRECT EXAMINATION OF THE WITNESS MERCEDES TAN UY-SY Q: With the kind permission of this Honorable Court. Q: And what is the nature of these expenses that you expect to disburse for the children? A: For the medicine or health care. for basically for food. perhaps P50.

CORTEZ That is all for the witness. based on the transcript of stenographic notes. sir. ALBON: .[29] xxxx ATTY.[28] Moreover.Q: Which the respondent should furnish? A: Yes. petitioner was clearly made aware that the issue of support was being deliberated upon. ATTY. Your Honor. to wit: WITNESS: WILSON SY: will be testifying under the same oath.

Please answer the question.[30] The trial court judge even propounded questions to petitioner regarding his sources of income for the purpose of determining the amount of support to be given to the children: COURT: I want to find out how much his income now for the purposes of giving support to the children. WITNESS: A: Shares of stocks. Mercedes Sy testified that she would be needing P50.000. 1994 as appearing on page 3.00 a month expenses for her children.Q: In the hearing of July 23. what can you say about that? A: That is a dillusion [sic] on her part. .

CORTEZ: Q: A shares [sic] of stock is the evidence of your investment in the corporation. was it money or property? A: There is no money but it was given by my father. COURT: Q: Upon the death of your father you just inherited it? A: Before. Q: After the death. Q: What happened to the shares of your father? A: It is with my mother. My question is: What investment did you put in to enable you to get a share.ATTY. your Honor. did you not acquire some of the shares of your father? A: No. .

Q: What is the value of that [sic] shares? A: I [do not] give any importance. CORTEZ: Q: How many shares do you have in the corporation? A: Right now I have only ten (10) shares. COURT .xxxx COURT: Never mind the share of the mother. What is material is his share. ATTY.

COURT: Proceed.Q: For purposes of this case. this is a Court proceeding? A: I want to speak the truth but I [do not] know. more or less. how much? Use the word more or less. ATTY. 10 million. 2 million. is that one million more or less. Q: More or less. this is not a BIR proceeding. I did not even see the account. more or less? Anyway. CORTEZ xxxx . the Court is asking you how much is your share? A: I [do not ] how to appraise.

Q: At that time of your father’s death*. sir. xxxx COURT: . your Honor. Q: More than ten (10) shares? A: Yes.+ you were *sic+already holding ten (10) shares or was it less? A: More. COURT Q: What is the par value of that one (1) share? A: I [do not] know.

Let it remain that he owns ten (10) shares. the Court holds that the trial court validly rendered a judgment on the issue. ATTY. I don’t know how many shares that I have left. since the issue of support was tried with the implied consent of the parties. in the case of . The other shares I already sold it. CORTEZ: xxxx A: Yes.[32] Rule 10 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. it should be treated in all respects as if it had been raised in the pleadings. I only know the 20 shares. American Realty Corporation. Q: How many shares did you sell? A: I only have 10 shares now. 10 shares. even if no motion had been filed and no amendment had been ordered.[31] Applying Section 5.[34] the Court stated: Significantly. And since there was implied consent.[33]Bank of America v.

we stressed that the rule on amendment need not be applied rigidly. Bolanos (95 Phil. Amendment is also unnecessary when only clerical error or non substantial matters are involved. especially where defendant had himself raised the point on which recovery was based.000.There have been instances where the Court has held that even without the necessary amendment. Laguna (48 Phil. SO ORDERED. where we said that if the facts shown entitled plaintiff to relief other than that asked for. particularly where no surprise or prejudice is caused the objecting party. Court of Appeals (113 SCRA 556). 106). as in Tuazon v. no amendment to the complaint was necessary.A.00 as support for the minor children. And in the recent case of National Power Corporation v.[35] The Court likewise affirms the award of P50. the amount proved at the trial may be validly awarded. The appellate court could treat the pleading as amended to conform to the evidence although the pleadings were actually not amended.[37] WHEREFORE. .[36] In any event. the Decision dated 29 February 1996 of the Eleventh Division of the Court of Appeals in C. SP No. the Court may treat the pleading as amended to conform with the evidence. 5). Diaz (75 Phil. Costs against petitioner. 672). petitioner’s representations regarding his family’s wealth and his capability to provide for his family more than provided a fair indication of his financial standing even though he proved to be less than forthright on the matter. 38936 and its Resolution[38] dated 15 April 1996 are AFFIRMED. In Co Tiamco v. we held that where there is a variance in the defendant’s pleadings and the evidence adduced by it at the trial. G. As found by both courts. as we held in Bank of the Philippine Islands vs.R. this award of support is merely provisional as the amount may be modified or altered in accordance with the increased or decreased needs of the needy party and with the means of the giver.

2000. vs. denying petitioner’s motion to quash the information and her motion for reconsideration. DECISION REYES. na kapwa pinararatangan ng estafa ng pera ng bayan? The jurisdictional question is posed in this petition for certiorari assailing the Resolutions1 of the Sandiganbayan. petitioner. Fifth Division. along with her brother. to serve a one-year term starting January 1. SANDIGANBAYAN and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. She was appointed by then President Joseph Estrada on December 21. at ang kanyang kapatid. registered . with her siblings and relatives. A student of a state university is known as a government scholar. 2000 and ending on December 31. Serana was a senior student of the University of the Philippines-Cebu.T. SERANA.Remedial Law 1 HANNAH EUNICE D. The Antecedents Petitioner Hannah Eunice D. of swindling government funds? MAAARI bang litisin ng Sandiganbayan ang isang iskolar ng bayan.. 2000. respondents.: CAN the Sandiganbayan try a government scholaran** accused. petitioner. In the early part of 2000. J. petitioner discussed with President Estrada the renovation of Vinzons Hall Annex in UP Diliman.2 On September 4. 1999 as a student regent of UP. R.

and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court.000. The source of the funds.00) to the OSRFI as financial assistance for the proposed renovation. from the Office of the President.with the Securities and Exchange Commission the Office of the Student Regent Foundation. JADE IAN D. Kristine Clare Bugayong. in Quezon City." and for which purpose accused HANNAH EUNICE D. a private individual. unlawfully and feloniously defraud the government by falsely and fraudulently representing to former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada that the renovation of the Vinzons Hall of the University of the Philippines will be renovated and renamed as "President Joseph Ejercito Estrada Student Hall. found probable cause to indict petitioner and her brother Jade Ian D. Inc. consequently filed a complaint for Malversation of Public Funds and Property with the Office of the Ombudsman. Serana on October 25. according to the information. with intent to gain. SERANA requested the amount of FIFTEEN MILLION PESOS (P15. and despite repeated demands .6 On July 3. Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code. and Christine Jill De Guzman.000. SERANA and JADE IAN D. the Ombudsman. Serana for estafa. above-named accused.00). as amended committed as follows: That on October. while in the performance of her official functions. 2000 and misappropriated for their personal use and benefit. committing the offense in relation to her office and taking advantage of her position.P. defined and penalized under Paragraph 2(a). docketed as Criminal Case No.000. SERANA. a systemwide alliance of student councils within the state university. Office of the Special Prosecutor. SERANA of the crime of Estafa. The renovation of Vinzons Hall Annex failed to materialize.3 One of the projects of the OSRFI was the renovation of the Vinzons Hall Annex. 24. SERANA. 2003. conspiring with her brother.. HANNAH EUNICE D. after due investigation. Metro Manila. 91353 dated October 24.7 The Information reads: The undersigned Special Prosecution Officer III.4 President Estrada gave Fifteen Million Pesos (P15. Quezon City.5 The succeeding student regent.000. which check was subsequently encashed by accused Jade Ian D.000. a high-ranking public officer. and the latter relying and believing on said false pretenses and misrepresentation gave and delivered to said accused Land Bank Check No.000. Philippines. hereby accuses HANNAH EUNICE D. 2000 in the amount of FIFTEEN MILLION PESOS (P15. (OSRFI). or sometime prior or subsequent thereto. being then the Student Regent of the University of the Philippines. Philippine Currency. Secretary General of the KASAMA sa U. was the Office of the President. 27819 of the Sandiganbayan.00). 2000. did then and there wilfully. Diliman.

) No. the . Chapter II. She claimed that the Sandiganbayan does not have any jurisdiction over the offense charged or over her person.12 It disputed petitioner’s interpretation of the law. (Underscoring supplied) Petitioner moved to quash the information. the said accused failed and refused to do so to the damage and prejudice of the government in the aforesaid amount.made upon the accused for them to return aforesaid amount." thus.9 It only has jurisdiction over crimes covered by Title VII.11 The Ombudsman opposed the motion. Sandiganbayan. enumerates the crimes or offenses over which the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction. 1606 clearly contains the catch -all phrase "in relation to office. as amended by R. she was not a public officer since she merely represented her peers. As a student regent. that amount came from Estrada. Book II of the RPC is not within the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction. not the government. the same is beyond the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan citing the case of Soller v. Such power was vested with the Board of Regents (BOR) as a whole. Petitioner claimed that Republic Act (R. in contrast to the other regents who held their positions in an ex officio capacity.10 Petitioner likewise posited that the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over her person.A. Even assuming that she received the P15.A. Book II of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). or that the crime was committed in connection with her official functions. that was duped. No. She addsed that she was a simple student and did not receive any salary as a student regent. the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the charges against petitioner. Section 2 (Crimes Committed by Public Officers).8 It has no jurisdiction over the crime of estafa. 3019.) No. Section 4(b) of Presidential Decree (P. not from the coffers of the government. Chapter VI (Crimes Against Property). In the same breath. CONTRARY TO LAW.000. She further contended that she had no power or authority to receive monies or funds. in her capacity as UP student regent. 8249. She also argued that it was President Estrada.000.D.00. Estafa falling under Title X. Since it was not alleged in the information that it was among her functions or duties to receive funds.

petitioner’s stance that she was not compensated. not a public officer. she hads the general powers of administration and exerciseds the corporate powers of UP. Title VII. petitioner was compensated. iwas a public officer. in view of the express provision of Section 4 of Republic Act No. Accused-movant’s claim that being merely a member in representation of the student body. Parenthetically. Section 2. hence. It is extremely erroneous to hold that only criminal offenses covered by Chapter II.13 According to the Ombudsman. As a member of the BOR. Section 4(b) of R. 8249 provides that the Sandiganbayan also has jurisdiction over other offenses committed by public officials and employees in relation to their office. is erroneous. the Sandiganbayan denied petitioner’s motion for lack of merit. is of no moment.14 Sandiganbayan Disposition In a Resolution dated November 14. compensation has been interpreted to include allowances. 8249 which provides: Sec. 2003. petitioner. Jurisdiction – The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: . Book II of the Revised Penal Code are within the jurisdiction of this Court.15 It ratiocinated: The focal point in controversy is the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over this case.A. there is no single doubt that this Court has jurisdiction over the offense of estafa committed by a public official in relation to his office. Compensation is not an essential part of public office. From this provision. despite her protestations. By this definition. 4. It should be threshed out during a full-blown trial. Based on Mechem’s definition of a public office. she was never a public officer since she never received any compensation nor does she fall under Salary Grade 27.prosecution countered that the source of the money is a matter of defense. As correctly pointed out by the prosecution.

(Italics supplied) It is very clear from the aforequoted provision that the Sandiganbayan has original exclusive jurisdiction over all offenses involving the officials enumerated in subsection (g). as are consistent with the purposes of the university. 6758). or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations. to fix their compensation. . 2) To prescribe rules for its own government and to enact for the government of the university such general ordinances and regulations. and to remove them for cause after an investigation and hearing shall have been had. irrespective of their salary grades. hours of service. of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. on recommendation of the President of the University. directors or trustees. because the primordial consideration in the inclusion of these officials is the nature of their responsibilities and functions.(A) x x x (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher. lecturers and other employees of the University. state universities or educational institutions or foundations. and such other duties and conditions as it may deem proper. such as: 1) To receive and appropriate to the ends specified by law such sums as may be provided by law for the support of the university. and 3) To appoint. otherwise classified as Grade "27" and higher. to which accused-movant belongs. any other provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding. exclusively exercises the general powers of administration and corporate powers in the university. not contrary to law. Is accused-movant included in the contemplated provision of law? A meticulous review of the existing Charter of the University of the Philippines reveals that the Board of Regents. specifically including: xxxx (g) Presidents. professors. to grant to them in its discretion leave of absence under such regulations as it may promulgate. instructors.

(c) the offense charged was not committed in relation to her office.It is well-established in corporation law that the corporation can act only through its board of directors. is a matter a defense that should be properly ventilated during the trial on the merits of this case.18 Issue Petitioner is now before this Court. is the governing body of the corporation. petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. (d) the funds in question personally came from President Estrada. It is unmistakably evident that the Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines is performing functions similar to those of the Board of Trustees of a non-stock corporation."19 In her discussion. she reiterates her four-fold argument below. contending that "THE RESPONDENT COURT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK AND/OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN NOT QUASHING THE INFORMATION AND DISMISING THE CASE NOTWITHSTANDING THAT IS HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE OFFENSE CHARGED IN THE INFORMATION.16 On November 19. namely: (a) the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over estafa. therefore. this court finds that accused-movant’s contention that the same of P15 Million was received from former President Estrada and not from the coffers of the government. 2003. or board of trustees in the case of non-stock corporations. This draws to fore the conclusion that being a member of such board. accused-movant undoubtedly falls within the category of public officials upon whom this Court is vested with original exclusive jurisdiction.17 The motion was denied with finality in a Resolution dated February 4. The board of directors or trustees. not from the government. Finally. 2004. Our Ruling . regardless of the fact that she does not occupy a position classified as Salary Grade 27 or higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. (b) petitioner is not a public officer with Salary Grade 27 and she paid her tuition fees.

The petition cannot be granted.

Preliminarily, the denial of a motion to quash is not correctible by certiorari.

We would ordinarily dismiss this petition for certiorari outright on procedural grounds. Wellestablished is the rule that when a motion to quash in a criminal case is denied, the remedy is not a petition for certiorari, but for petitioners to go to trial, without prejudice to reiterating the special defenses invoked in their motion to quash.20 Remedial measures as regards interlocutory orders, such as a motion to quash, are frowned upon and often dismissed.21 The evident reason for this rule is to avoid multiplicity of appeals in a single action.22

In Newsweek, Inc. v. Intermediate Appellate Court,23 the Court clearly explained and illustrated the rule and the exceptions, thus:

As a general rule, an order denying a motion to dismiss is merely interlocutory and cannot be subject of appeal until final judgment or order is rendered. (Sec. 2 of Rule 41). The ordinary procedure to be followed in such a case is to file an answer, go to trial and if the decision is adverse, reiterate the issue on appeal from the final judgment. The same rule applies to an order denying a motion to quash, except that instead of filing an answer a plea is entered and no appeal lies from a judgment of acquittal.

This general rule is subject to certain exceptions. If the court, in denying the motion to dismiss or motion to quash, acts without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion, then certiorari or prohibition lies. The reason is that it would be unfair to require the defendant or accused to undergo the ordeal and expense of a trial if the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter or offense, or is not the court of proper venue, or if the denial of the motion to dismiss or motion to quash is made with grave abuse of discretion or a whimsical and capricious exercise of judgment. In such cases, the ordinary remedy of appeal cannot be plain and adequate. The following are a few examples of the exceptions to the general rule.

In De Jesus v. Garcia (19 SCRA 554), upon the denial of a motion to dismiss based on lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, this Court granted the petition for certiorari and prohibition against the City Court of Manila and directed the respondent court to dismiss the case.

In Lopez v. City Judge (18 SCRA 616), upon the denial of a motion to quash based on lack of jurisdiction over the offense, this Court granted the petition for prohibition and enjoined the respondent court from further proceeding in the case.

In Enriquez v. Macadaeg (84 Phil. 674), upon the denial of a motion to dismiss based on improper venue, this Court granted the petition for prohibition and enjoined the respondent judge from taking cognizance of the case except to dismiss the same.

In Manalo v. Mariano (69 SCRA 80), upon the denial of a motion to dismiss based on bar by prior judgment, this Court granted the petition for certiorari and directed the respondent judge to dismiss the case.

In Yuviengco v. Dacuycuy (105 SCRA 668), upon the denial of a motion to dismiss based on the Statute of Frauds, this Court granted the petition for certiorari and dismissed the amended complaint.

In Tacas v. Cariaso (72 SCRA 527), this Court granted the petition for certiorari after the motion to quash based on double jeopardy was denied by respondent judge and ordered him to desist from further action in the criminal case except to dismiss the same.

In People v. Ramos (83 SCRA 11), the order denying the motion to quash based on prescription was set aside on certiorari and the criminal case was dismissed by this Court.24

We do not find the Sandiganbayan to have committed a grave abuse of discretion.

The jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is set by P.D. No. 1606, as amended, not by

R.A. No. 3019, as amended.

We first address petitioner’s contention that the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is determined by Section 4 of R.A. No. 3019 (The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as amended). We note that petitioner refers to Section 4 of the said law yet quotes Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended, in her motion to quash before the Sandiganbayan.25 She repeats the reference in the instant petition for certiorari26 and in her memorandum of authorities.27

We cannot bring ourselves to write this off as a mere clerical or typographical error. It bears stressing that petitioner repeated this claim twice despite corrections made by the Sandiganbayan.28

Her claim has no basis in law. It is P.D. No. 1606, as amended, rather than R.A. No. 3019, as amended, that determines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. A brief legislative history of the statute creating the Sandiganbayan is in order. The Sandiganbayan was created by P.D. No. 1486, promulgated by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos on June 11, 1978. It was promulgated to attain the highest norms of official conduct required of public officers and employees, based on the concept that public officers and employees shall serve with the highest degree of responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency and shall remain at all times accountable to the people.29

P.D. No. 1486 was, in turn, amended by P.D. No. 1606 which was promulgated on December 10, 1978. P.D. No. 1606 expanded the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.30

P.D. No. 1606 was later amended by P.D. No. 1861 on March 23, 1983, further altering the Sandiganbayan jurisdiction. R.A. No. 7975 approved on March 30, 1995 made succeeding amendments to P.D. No. 1606, which was again amended on February 5, 1997 by R.A. No. 8249. Section 4 of R.A. No. 8249 further modified the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. As it now stands, the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the following:

Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. - The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving:

A. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, other known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal

and other city department heads. members of the sangguniang panlalawigan. otherwise classified as Grade "27" and higher. " (b) City mayor. assessors. "(c ) Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher. " (e) Officers of the Philippine National Police while occupying the position of provincial director and those holding the rank of senior superintended or higher. specifically including: " (a) Provincial governors. of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 989 (Republic Act No. and all officers of higher rank. vice-mayors. whether in a permanent. members of the sangguniang panlungsod. " (2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade "27'" and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. vice-governors. naval captains. city treasurers. directors or trustees. where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government.Code. " (d) Philippine army and air force colonels. and other city department heads. acting or interim capacity. . or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations. and provincial treasurers. " (g) Presidents. assessors. and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor. at the time of the commission of the offense: (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher. state universities or educational institutions or foundations. " (f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants. 6758). engineers. engineers.

issued in 1986. prohibition. or military and PNP officer mentioned above. 14 and 14-A. 129. municipal trial court. as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. and municipal circuit trial court. resolutions or order of regional trial courts whether in the exercise of their own original jurisdiction or of their appellate jurisdiction as herein provided. issued in 1986: Provided. 2. 6758. as the case may be. . as amended. pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. " (4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commission. habeas corpus. certiorari. 14 and 14-A. B. metropolitan trial court. " The Sandiganbayan shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over petitions for the issuance of the writs of mandamus. injunctions. including quo warranto. exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional court. and " (5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade "27'" and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. " In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to Salary Grade "27'" or higher." (3) Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution. arising or that may arise in cases filed or which may be filed under Executive Order Nos. 2. 1. That the jurisdiction over these petitions shall not be exclusive of the Supreme Court. " The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction over final judgments. and other ancillary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction and over petitions of similar nature. Other offenses of felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection a of this section in relation to their office. 1. C.

the Office of the Ombudsman. 3019. the filing of the criminal action being deemed to necessarily carry with it the filing of the civil action. and the criminal case is hereafter filed with the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court.32 R. In all cases elevated to the Sandiganbayan and from the Sandiganbayan to the Supreme Court. Section 4 of R. the criminal action and the corresponding civil action for the recovery of civil liability shall. accomplices or accessories with the public officers or employees. The said law represses certain acts of public officers and private persons alike which constitute graft or corrupt practices or which may lead thereto. deals not with the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan but with prohibition on private individuals. and jointly determined in. 3019 erroneously cited by petitioner. all prosecutions for violation of the said law should be filed with the Sandiganbayan. 3019 does not contain an enumeration of the cases over which the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction.31 Pursuant to Section 10 of R. shall represent the People of the Philippines. " In case private individuals are charged as co-principals.A. shall apply to appeals and petitions for review filed with the Sandiganbayan. " Any provisions of law or Rules of Court to the contrary notwithstanding. 3019 is a penal statute approved on August 17. said civil action shall be transferred to the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court. including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations. No. No." Upon the other hand. R. the same proceeding by the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate courts. 1960. otherwise the separate civil action shall be deemed abandoned. however.A. except in cases filed pursuant to Executive Order Nos. No. at all times. 14 and 14-A. That where the civil action had heretofore been filed separately but judgment therein has not yet been rendered. issued in 1986. they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees in the proper courts which shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction over them. No. as the case may be.A. as well as the implementing rules that the Supreme Court has promulgated and may thereafter promulgate. In fact." The procedure prescribed in Batas Pambansa Blg. for consolidation and joint determination with the criminal action. be simultaneously instituted with. 1. 2.A. We quote: . through its special prosecutor. 129. and no right to reserve the filing such civil action separately from the criminal action shall be recognized: Provided. relative to appeals/petitions for review to the Court of Appeals.

transaction.33 Interpretatio talis in ambiguis semper fienda est.Section 4. in which such public official has to intervene. Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the offense of estafa. The word "close personal relation" shall include close personal friendship. We note that in hoisting this argument. Relying on Section 4 of P.D. petitioner contends that estafa is not among those crimes cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. Prohibition on private individuals. request or contract with the government.A. Kung saan mayroong kalabuan. petitioner isolated the first paragraph of Section 4 of P.34 The intention of the legislator must be . and professional employment all giving rise to intimacy which assures free access to such public officer. No. Family relation shall include the spouse or relatives by consanguinity or affinity in the third civil degree. defines graft and corrupt practices and provides for their penalties. 3019.D. 1606. No. No. – (a) It shall be unlawful for any person having family or close personal relation with any public official to capitalize or exploit or take advantage of such family or close personal relation by directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any present. application. such interpretation as will avoid inconvenience and absurdity is to be adopted. provision or clause of the statute must be expounded by reference to each other in order to arrive at the effect contemplated by the legislature. the two statutes differ in that P. as amended. In fine. Where there is ambiguity. as amended.D. ang pagpapaliwanag ay hindi dapat maging mahirap at katawa-tawa. Every section. 1606. No. ut evitetur inconveniens et absurdum. defines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan while R. The rule is well-established in this jurisdiction that statutes should receive a sensible construction so as to avoid an unjust or an absurd conclusion. social and fraternal connections. 1606. without regard to the succeeding paragraphs of the said provision. gift or material or pecuniary advantage from any other person having some business. (b) It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to induce or cause any public official to commit any of the offenses defined in Section 3 hereof.

In Perlas. issued pursuant to PD No. 3). . 1975 (Letter of Implementation No. 69). 1975). Valencia were designated Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively (E. No.O.O. 1974 (E. Other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection a of this section in relation to their office. Mrs. No. Luneta and other national parks (Executive Order No. 30). Despite an attempt to transfer it to the Bureau of Forest Development. People. and that (b) the offense is committed in relation to their office.37 the Court had occasion to explain that the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over an indictment for estafa versus a director of the National Parks Development Committee. On January 9.O.36 Optima statuti interpretatrix est ipsum statutum. The Court held then: The National Parks Development Committee was created originally as an Executive Committee on January 14. Ang isang batas ay marapat na bigyan ng kahulugan sa kanyang kabuuan sa ilalim ng prinsipyo na ang pinakamainam na interpretasyon ay ang mismong batas. 1606. on December 1. Marcos and Teodoro F. 39. The jurisdiction is simply subject to the twin requirements that (a) the offense is committed by public officials and employees mentioned in Section 4(A) of P. the NPDC has remained under the Office of the President (E. 709. 1963. No.35 In other words.D.D. 1606. No. Section 4(B) of P. 1981). v. No. a government instrumentality. Evidently. Plainly. estafa is one of those other felonies. Department of Natural Resources. It was later designated as the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) on February 7. 1966. dated November 27. for the development of the Quezon Memorial. No. as amended. Jr. the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over other felonies committed by public officials in relation to their office. dated July 27. 1606 reads: B. 830. petitioner’s interpretation lies in direct opposition to the rule that a statute must be interpreted as a whole under the principle that the best interpreter of a statute is the statute itself. Imelda R. We see no plausible or sensible reason to exclude estafa as one of the offenses included in Section 4(bB) of P.ascertained from the whole text of the law and every part of the act is to be taken into view.D.

Court of Appeals.38 Pertinent parts of the Court’s ruling in Bondoc read: Furthermore. v. Perlas. an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government. Item Nos. This is not the first or likely the last time that We will be called upon to define a public officer. 3).39 The 1987 Constitution does not define who are public officers. it is not legally possible to transfer Bondoc’s cases to the Regional Trial Court. These crimes are within the exclusive. the annual appropriations decrees listed NPDC as a regular government agency under the Office of the President and allotments for its maintenance and operating expenses were issued direct to NPDC (Exh. Petitioner also contends that she is not a public officer. original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. the varied definitions and concepts are found in different statutes and jurisprudence. including Bondoc. the inability of the Sandiganbayan to hold a joint trial of Bondoc’s cases and those of the government employees separately charged for the same crimes. Sandiganbayan.Since 1977 to 1981.00. Jr. She does not receive any salary or remuneration as a UP student regent. Office of the Ombudsman. apart from the fact that even if the cases could be so transferred. or a fine of P6. as estafa thru falsification punishable by penalties higher than prision correccional or imprisonment of six years.000. We ruled that it is difficult to pin down the definition of a public officer. by which for a given period. either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power. and duty created and conferred by law. has not altered the nature of the offenses charged. Petitioner UP student regent is a public officer. Rather. to be exercise by him for the benefit . The Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction over estafa was reiterated with greater firmness in Bondoc v. for the simple reason that the latter would not have jurisdiction over the offenses. 2. 10-A. They simply cannot be taken cognizance of by the regular courts. In Aparri v. In Khan. As already above intimated. authority. committed by government employees in conspiracy with private persons. a joint trial would nonetheless not be possible.40 the Court held that: A public office is the right.

1606 explictly vested the Sandiganbayan with jurisdiction over Presidents. Jur.46 At most. she is. authority and duty. It is not only the salary grade that determines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Moreover. 881).D. 1606. state universities or educational institutions or foundations. There is no such thing as a vested interest or an estate in an office. In Geduspan v."42 Petitioner claims that she is not a public officer with Salary Grade 27. either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power. It exists.47 . by which. created and conferred by law. in fact.of the public ([Mechem Public Offices and Officers. 1).. The Sandiganbayan also has jurisdiction over other officers enumerated in P. In Laurel v. to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public.45 By express mandate of law. No. As the Sandiganbayan pointed out. Petitioner falls under this category.44 Section 4(A)(1)(g) of P. People. a public officer as contemplated by P. The right to hold a public office under our political system is therefore not a natural right. indeed. Sec. No. Petitioner falls under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan as she is placed there by express provision of law. it is merely incidental to the public office.43 We held that while the first part of Section 4(A) covers only officials with Salary Grade 27 and higher. a regular tuition fee-paying student.41 the Court adopted the definition of Mechem of a public office: "A public office is the right. its second part specifically includes other executive officials whose positions may not be of Salary Grade 27 and higher but who are by express provision of law placed under the jurisdiction of the said court. No. the BOR performs functions similar to those of a board of trustees of a non-stock corporation. 1606.] Sec. petitioner is. no one can be said to have any vested right in an office or its salary (42 Am. or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations. The individual so invested is a public officer.D.D. an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government. when it exists at all only because and by virtue of some law expressly or impliedly creating and conferring it (Mechem Ibid. it is well established that compensation is not an essential element of public office. directors or trustees. 64). Excepting constitutional offices which provide for special immunity as regards salary and tenure. or even an absolute right to hold office. for a given period. This is likewise bereft of merit. Desierto.

JADE IAN D. jurisdiction is not affected by the pleas or the theories set up by defendant or respondent in an answer.. her act was done in a private capacity and not in relation to public office. a motion to dismiss. Petitioner likewise argues that even assuming that she is a public officer. in no uncertain terms that petitioner. Resultantly.49 Moreover." (Underscoring supplied) . She adds there was no Board Resolution issued by the BOR authorizing her to contract with then President Estrada. being then a student regent of U. the information alleged.52 Otherwise. and arts. the sciences. SERANA. committing the offense in relation to her office and taking advantage of her position. UP performs a legitimate governmental function by providing advanced instruction in literature. and giving professional and technical training. she had no power or authority to act without the approval of the BOR. philosophy. the Sandiganbayan would still not have jurisdiction over the offense because it was not committed in relation to her office.53 In the case at bench. to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public makes one a public officer. did then and there wilfully. or a motion to quash. It is axiomatic that jurisdiction is determined by the averments in the information. jurisdiction would become dependent almost entirely upon the whims of defendant or respondent.P. UP is maintained by the Government and it declares no dividends and is not a corporation created for profit. with intent to gain.48 The administration of the UP is a sovereign function in line with Article XIV of the Constitution. An investment in an individual of some portion of the sovereign functions of the government. "while in the performance of her official functions.50 The offense charged was committed in relation to public office. unlawfully and feloniously defraud the government x x x. a private individual. conspiring with her brother.Delegation of sovereign functions is essential in the public office. According to petitioner. and that her acts were not ratified by the governing body of the state university. according to the Information.51 More than that.

Source of funds is a defense that should be raised during trial on the merits.000. from the Office of the President. The information alleges that the funds came from the Office of the President and not its then occupant. misrepresented his reference to Section 4 of P.000. petitioner’s counsel. the instant petition for certiorari and his memorandum. It is contended anew that the amount came from President Estrada’s private funds and not from the government coffers. unveils the misquotation. Philippine Currency. and the latter relying and believing on said false pretenses and misrepresentation gave and delivered to said accused Land Bank Check No. As a parting note." The Court stressed the importance of this rule in Pangan v.A." Again.02 of the Rules stating that "a lawyer shall not misquote or misrepresent. No.000 is a matter of defense that should be ventilated during the trial on the merits of the instant case. 91353 dated October 24.D. Under the information. there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Sandiganbayan when it did not quash the information based on this ground. Ramos . The Court ruled that Atty.54 A lawyer owes candor. specifically Rule 10.000. 2000 in the amount of Fifteen Million Pesos (P15. Ramos in connection with a criminal case. 3019. dela Cruz. A review of his motion to quash.Clearly. Ramos used the name Pedro D.000. We urge petitioner’s counsel to observe Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.00). 1606 as a quotation from Section 4 of R. the Court sustains the Sandiganbayan observation that the source of the P15.000. No. fairness and honesty to the Court. President Joseph Ejercito Estrada. We cannot agree.55 where Atty Dionisio D. Renato G. Petitioner insists the charge has no leg to stand on. it is averred that "petitioner requested the amount of Fifteen Million Pesos (P15.00).D. Ramos.

56 We admonish petitioner’s counsel to be more careful and accurate in his citation.58 WHEREFORE. We severely reprimanded Atty. A lawyer’s conduct before the court should be characterized by candor and fairness. SO ORDERED. Ramos and warned that a repetition may warrant suspension or disbarment. . the petition is DENIED for lack of merit.57 The administration of justice would gravely suffer if lawyers do not act with complete candor and honesty before the courts.resorted to deception by using a name different from that with which he was authorized.

RUPERTO A.[1] and petitioner Alexandrino R. JR. Upon reinvestigation. 1999. 2000. Jr. 1999. 2000. the new President of the IBP. together with SPO3 Felipe A. Eastern Samar Chapter. Thus. an accused in Criminal Case No.. in an Information[9] dated January 31.versus - SANDIGANBAYAN and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. recommending the dismissal of the complaint as regards Balano and the amendment of the Information to include the charge of Delivering Prisoners from Jail under Article 156[11] of the Revised Penal Code. then Governor Ruperto A. the Office of the Ombudsman issued a Memorandum[10] dated August 4. otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. 3019.A.: Before us are two consolidated petitions for review on certiorari filed by petitioner Ruperto A. informed the Ombudsman that the IBP is no longer interested in pursuing the case against petitioners.[2] assailing the Decision[3] promulgated on September 16.[8] Nonetheless. President of the Eastern Samar Chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). from the provincial jail of Eastern Samar to the residence of petitioner. J. . he recommended the dismissal of the complaint against petitioners. to the Office of the Ombudsman. 10963 for murder. David B. 3019. Loste. Petitioner. JR.A. 2005 and Resolution[4] dated November 8. No. On September 22. Apelado. 25892. 2006 of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. praying for an investigation into the alleged transfer of then Mayor Francisco Adalim. and Alexandrino R. The present controversy arose from a letter[5] of Atty. were charged with violation of Section 3(e) of R. as amended. The Amended Information[12] reads: .. for violation of Section 3(e)[7] of Republic Act (R. Jr. Jr. In a Report[6] dated January 4. petitioners Ambil. Ambil. Sr.) No. Apelado Sr. Balano. Ambil. VILLARAMA. the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) recommended the filing of criminal charges against petitioner Ambil. Jr. AMBIL. as amended. (RPC) against the remaining accused.

with deliberate intent. by virtue of a warrant of Arrest issued by Honorable Arnulfo P. White. conniving and confederating together and mutually helping x x x each other. She recounted how Mayor Adalim was arrested while they were attending a wedding in Sulat. and Alexandrino R. Philippines. more or less which act was done without any court order.’s custody. and thereafter placed said detention prisoner (Mayor Francisco Adalim) under accused RUPERTO A. According to Atty. thus accused in the performance of official functions had given unwarranted benefits and advantage to detainee Mayor Francisco Adalim to the prejudice of the government. petitioners pleaded not guilty and posted bail. JR.00 each. she sought the . duly elected. that Adalim’s transfer was justified considering the imminent threats upon his person and the dangers posed by his detention at the provincial jail. 10963. for Murder. petitioners presented three witnesses: petitioner Ambil.That on or about the 6th day of September 1998. Borongan. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. by allowing said Mayor Adalim to stay at accused Ambil’s residence for a period of Eighty-Five (85) days. petitioners admitted the allegations in the Information. AdalimWhite and Mayor Francisco C. Atty. BAIL BOND RECOMMENDED: P30.000. being then the Provincial Warden of Eastern Samar. had sent numerous prisoners to the same jail where Mayor Adalim was to be held. 1998. He cites poor security in the provincial jail as the primary reason for taking personal custody of Adalim considering that the latter would be in the company of inmates who were put away by his sister and guards identified with his political opponents. White stated that she is the District Public Attorney of Eastern Samar and the sister of Mayor Adalim. According to petitioners. Adalim-White. Presiding Judge. AMBIL. Jr. Province of Eastern Samar. committing the offense in relation to office. Juliana A. At the trial. it was upon the advice of Adalim’s lawyers that he directed the transfer of Adalim’s detention to his home. Eastern Samar. Petitioner Ambil. manifest partiality and evident bad faith. Jr. Adalim. CONTRARY TO LAW. They reason.[15] For her part. Bugtas. unlawfully and criminally order and cause the release from the Provincial Jail of detention prisoner Mayor Francisco Adalim. Apelado. Eastern Samar. did then and there wilfully. testified that he was the Governor of Eastern Samar from 1998 to 2001. Atty. the prosecution no longer offered testimonial evidence and rested its case after the admission of its documentary exhibits.[. on September 6.] being then the Provincial Governor of Eastern Samar. At the pre-trial. however. [the] above-named accused. Jr. and for sometime prior [or] subsequent thereto. both having been public officers.. appointed and qualified as such. Petitioners filed a Motion for Leave to File Demurrer to Evidence with Reservation to Present Evidence in Case of Denial[14] but the same was denied. Consequently. accused in Criminal Case No. Ambil. RTC-Branch 2. [in] the Municipality of Borongan. Atty. Juliana A. According to him.[13] On arraignment. Ruperto A. Adalim’s sister.

Consequently. At the provincial jail. the Sandiganbayan. First Division. only two guards were incharge of looking after 50 inmates. The Sandiganbayan also pointed o ut the availability of an isolation cell and nipa huts within the 10-meter-high perimeter fence of the jail which could have been used to separate Adalim from other prisoners. Adalim admitted staying at Ambil. Jr. Jr. It stressed that under the Rules.[18] Further. gesture to him with a raised clenched fist. The court ruled that in moving Adalim to a private residence. Ambil. he called on his sister for help. Also. He recalls that on September 6. 1998.*16+ Meanwhile. promulgated the assailed Decision[20] finding petitioners guilty of violating Section 3(e) of R. White who informed him that he was under the governor. In favor of petitioner Apelado.[19] On September 16. He also noticed a prisoner. Sr.. He confirmed his arrest on September 6.[21] The Sandiganbayan brushed aside petitioners’ defense that Adalim’s transfer was made to ensure his safety. It observed that petitioner Ambil. Jr. it cited petitioner Ambil. White was contesting the legality of Mayor Adalim’s arrest and arguing with the jail guards against booking him for detention. SPO3 Felipe Balano fetched him at home to assist in the arrest of Mayor Adalim. the court appreciated the incomplete justifying . there were several nipa huts within the perimeter for use during conjugal visits. Sensing danger. There were two cells in the jail. According to him. his political rivals at the provincial jail. 3019.’s residence for almost three months before he posted bail after the charge against him was downgraded to homicide. White’s account that he spotted inmates who served as bodyguards for. each housing 25 inmates. while an isolation cell of 10 square meters was unserviceable at the time. No.alternative custody of Gov.A. Roman Akyatan. eight (8) months and one (1) day to twelve (12) years and four (4) months. Sr.’s failure to turn over Adalim despite advice from Assistant Secretary Jesus Ingeniero of the Department of Interior and Local Government. failed to guarantee the mayor’s safety.[17] Petitioner Apelado. Eastern Samar. the Sandiganbayan sentenced petitioner Ambil. Eastern Samar. petitioner was confronted by Atty. Finally. Sr. Adalim confirmed Atty. or who are associated with. Sr. described the physical condition of the jail to be dilapidated and undermanned. Jr. did not personally verify any actual threat on Adalim’s life but relied simply on the advice of Adalim’s lawyers. Allegedly. after Provincial Warden and herein petitioner Apelado. Atty. petitioners have conspired to accord him unwarranted benefits in the form of more comfortable quarters with access to television and other privileges that other detainees do not enjoy. Jr. Francisco Adalim introduced himself as the Mayor of Taft. testified that he was the Provincial Jail Warden of Eastern Samar. petitioner Apelado. to an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment for nine (9) years. Petitioner claims that it is for this reason that he submitted to the governor’s order to relinquish custody of Adalim. 1998 in connection with a murder case filed against him in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Borongan. in the latter’s capacity as a provincial jailer. 2005. no person under detention by legal process shall be released or transferred except upon order of the court or when he is admitted to bail.

3019. REPUBLIC ACT 6975 HAS THE AUTHORITY TO TAKE CUSTODY OF A DETENTION PRISONER. REPUBLIC ACT NO. APPLIES TO PETITIONER’S CASE BEFORE THE SANDIGANBAYAN. Sr. III WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER ACTED WITH DELIBERATE INTENT. AS AMENDED. Hence. VI WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ACQUITTED BECAUSE THE PROSECUTION EVIDENCE DID NOT ESTABLISH HIS GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. ARTICLE III. Petitioner Ambil. MANIFEST PARTIALITY.[22] For his part. CHAPTER V. EVIDENT BAD FAITH OR GROSS INEXCUSABLE NEGLIGENCE IN THE CONTEXT OF SAID SECTION 3(e). II WHETHER OR NOT A PUBLIC OFFICER SUCH AS PETITIONER IS A PRIVATE PARTY FOR PURPOSES OF SECTION 3(e). petitioner Apelado.circumstance of obedience to a superior order and sentenced him to imprisonment for six (6) years and one (1) month to nine (9) years and eight (8) months. CHAPTER 45 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF 1917 AND SECTION 61. AS AMENDED. IV WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER AS PROVINCIAL GOVERNOR AND JAILER UNDER SECTIONS 1730 AND 1733. II . advances the following issues for our consideration: I WHETHER OR NOT SECTION 3(e) REPUBLIC ACT NO. EITHER AS PRINCIPAL OR IN CONSPIRACY WITH HIS CO-ACCUSED AMBIL. 3019. the present petitions. imputes the following errors on the Sandiganbayan: I THERE WAS MISAPPREHENSION OF FACTS AND/OR MISAPPLICATION OF THE LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE IN CONVICTING ACCUSED APELADO. V WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER IS ENTITLED TO THE JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE OF FULFILLMENT OF A DUTY OR THE LAWFUL EXERCISE OF A RIGHT OR OFFICE. Jr.

petitioners have accorded undue preference to Adalim for liability to attach under the provision. (2) Whether a provincial governor has authority to take personal custody of a detention prisoner. Sec. No. Jr.’s assignment of errors can be condensed into two: (1) Whether he is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 3(e).A. It suggests further that petitioners were motivated by bad faith as evidenced by their refusal to turn over Adalim despite instruction from Asst. Sr. Ingeniero. Considering this. petitioner Ambil.A. As well. For the State. can be summed up into three: (1) Whether he is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 3(e). R.[23] The issues raised by petitioner Ambil. and (3) Whether he is entitled to the justifying circumstance of fulfillment of duty under Article 11(5)[24] of the RPC. AT THE MOST. Sr. it concludes that petitioners are not entitled to the benefit of any justifying circumstance. R. The OSP also reiterates petitioners’ lack of authority to take custody of a detention prisoner without a court order. Further. Fundamentally. Jr. Hence. the OSP maintains that Adalim is deemed a private party for purposes of applying Section 3(e). No. R. but to his person as a detention prisoner accused of murder. the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) points out the absence of jurisprudence that restricts the application of Section 3(e). 3019. The OSP explains that it is enough to show that in performing their functions. he claims good faith in taking custody of the mayor pursuant to his duty as a “Provincial Jailer” under the Administrative Code of 1917. petitioner avers that he cannot be held liable for extending a favor to Mayor Adalim. . not to his person as a mayor. 3019 to transactions of a pecuniary nature.A. defends that he was merely following the orders of a superior when he transferred the detention of Adalim. and (2) Whether he is entitled to the justifying circumstance of obedience to an order issued by a superior for some lawful purpose under Article 11(6)[25] of the RPC. petitioner Apelado. Meanwhile. Since the law punishes a public officer who extends unwarranted benefits to a private person. on the other hand. SPECULATIVE. Further. argues that Section 3(e).A. No. R.A. Sr. 3019. a public officer. 3019 because the unwarranted benefit redounded. Petitioner Apelado.. 3019 does not apply to his case because the provision contemplates only transactions of a pecuniary nature. Petitioner Apelado. Jr. No. No. THE LATTER SHOULD BE ACCORDED FULL CREDIT FOR THE JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE UNDER PARAGRAPH 6. denies allegations of conspiracy between him and petitioner Ambil. petitioner believes himself entitled to the justifying circumstance of fulfillment of duty or lawful exercise of duty. ARTICLE 11 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE.IN THE ABSENCE OF COMPETENT PROOF BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF CONSPIRACY BETWEEN ACCUSED AMBIL AND HEREIN PETITIONER. he invokes immunity from criminal liability. III THE COURT A QUO’S BASIS IN CONVICTING BOTH ACCUSED AMBIL AND HEREIN PETITIONER OF HAVING GIVEN MAYOR ADALIM “UNWARRANTED BENEFITS AND ADVANTAGE TO THE PREJUDICE x x x OF THE GOVERNMENT IS. R.

evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. Jurisdiction. there is no question that petitioners are public officers discharging official functions and that jurisdiction over them lay with the Sandiganbayan. 1379. of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. specifically including: (a) Provincial governors.A. Book II of the Revised Penal Code. as amended. No. Corrupt practices of public officers. 4. 1606.] . No. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019.[26] As to the first element. whether in a permanent. evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. P. 1606. Petitioners were charged with violation of Section 3(e) of R.After a careful review of this case. read as follows: SEC. judicial or official functions. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act which provides: Section. where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government. otherwise classified as Grade ‘27’ and higher. members of the sangguniang panlalawigan and provincial treasurers.D. and Chapter II. as amended.[28] The pertinent portions of Section 4. including the Government. Republic Act No. vice-governors. or gave any private party unwarranted benefits. at the time of the commission of the offense: (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher. the following elements must concur: (1) the accused must be a public officer discharging administrative.[27] as amended by R. the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful: xxxx (e) Causing any undue injury to any party. administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality. advantage or preference in the discharge of his functions. . Jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over public officers charged with violation of the Anti-Graft Law is provided under Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. engineers and other provincial department heads[. and (3) his action caused any undue injury to any party. No.In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions. 3. 6758).A. acting or interim capacity. or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits. otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Section 2. (2) he must have acted with manifest partiality. advantage or preference in the discharge of his official. 8249. assessors. Title VII. including the government.—The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: a. the Court finds the present petitions bereft of merit. In order to hold a person liable under this provision.

There is no merit to petitioner Ambil. Jr. acting or omitting to act in a situation where there is a duty to act. 6758. pursuant to their respective jurisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg..*30+ we defined “partiality. Section 28 of the Local Government Code draws the extent of the power of local chief executives over the units of the Philippine National Police within their jurisdiction: . Sr. People. as the case may be. The same is true as regards petitioner Apelado. the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over petitioner Ambil. it partakes of the nature of fraud. petitioner Apelado.” “Gross negligence has been so defined as negligence characterized by the want of even slight care. metropolitan trial court. It is the omission of that care which even inattentive and thoughtless men never fail to take on their own property. Jr. a Certification[29] from the Provincial Government Department Head of the HRMO shows that his position as Provincial Warden is classified as Salary Grade 22. he was correctly tried jointly with said public officer in the proper court which had exclusive original jurisdiction over them – the Sandiganbayan. we find that petitioners displayed manifest partiality and evident bad faith in transferring the detention of Mayor Adalim to petitioner Ambil. that is. was charged as a co-principal with Governor Ambil. and municipal circuit trial court. As to him. 3019 may be committed. xxxx Thus. it is only when none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade ‘27’ or higher shall exclusive jurisdiction be vested in the lower courts. as amended.A. Jr. over whose position the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction. through manifest partiality. In Sison v. as prescribed in the said Republic Act No.” “Bad faith does not simply connote bad judgment or negligence. 129. exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional trial court. evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.” “bad faith” and “gross negligence” as follows: “Partiality” is synonymous with “bias” which “excites a disposition to see and report matters as they are wished for rather than as they are. Here. a breach of sworn duty through some motive or intent or ill will. No. Nonetheless. is beyond question. or military and PNP officers mentioned above.xxxx In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to Salary Grade ‘27’ or higher. Jr.” x x x*31+ In this case.’s contention that he is authorized to transfer the detention of prisoners by virtue of his power as the “Provincial Jailer” of Eastern Samar. describes the three ways by which a violation of Section 3(e) of R. Sr.’s house. it imputes a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong. municipal trial court. The second element. for its part. not inadvertently but wilfully and intentionally with a conscious indifference to consequences in so far as other persons may be affected. Accordingly.

Section 61. but always in conformity with the law. Powers of Local Chief Executives over the Units of the Philippine National Police. neither of said powers authorizes the doing of acts beyond the parameters set by law. 6975). but he does not lay down the rules. the appointee shall be . Jr. in his discretion.”*35+ If the subordinate officers fai l or neglect to fulfill their duties. Powers and Functions. and it shall be his duty to administer the same in accordance with law and the regulations prescribed for the government of provincial prisons.[37] Significantly. whose expenses shall be subsidized by the National Government for not more than three (3) years after the effectivity of this Act. Provincial governor as keeper of jail. Section 1731 provides: SEC.A. and if so filled. Chapter 5 of R. The provincial jails shall be supervised and controlled by the provincial government within its jurisdiction. The position of jailer shall be regarded as within the unclassified civil service but may be filled in the manner in which classified positions are filled.SEC. The power of control is the power of an officer to alter or modify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter. No. Essentially. fire protection unit. petitioner Ambil. In particular. In any case. it is the provincial government and not the governor alone which has authority to exercise control and supervision over provincial jails. In a desperate attempt to stretch the scope of his powers. rules may be laid down on how the act should be done.[36] The supervisor or superintendent merely sees to it that the rules are followed. the official may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform their duties. 1731.The Jail Bureau shall exercise supervision and control over all city and municipal jails. Article III of the Administrative Code of 1917 on Provincial jails in support.” and the rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto. In the event that the subordinate performs an act ultra vires. otherwise known as “The Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990. cites Section 1731. and jail management personnel assigned in their respective jurisdictions shall be governed by the provisions of Republic Act Numbered Sixty-nine hundred seventy-five (R. nor does he have discretion to modify or replace them.—The governor of the province shall be charged with the keeping of the provincial jail. The immediate custody and supervision of the jail may be committed to the care of a jailer to be appointed by the provincial governor. —The extent of operational supervision and control of local chief executives over the police force. On the contrary. order the act undone or re-done by his subordinate or he may even decide to do it himself. the power of supervision means “overseeing or the authority of an officer to see to it that the subordinate officers perform their duties. No. 6975[32] on the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology provides: Sec.A. . 28.[34] On the other hand. 61. If they are not followed. the power of supervision means no more than the power of ensuring that laws are faithfully executed. subordinates must be enjoined to act within the bounds of law. he may. or that subordinate officers act within the law.[33] An officer in control lays down the rules in the doing of an act.

Ingeniero in his communication[40] dated October 6. relative to your alleged action in taking into custody Mayor Francisco “Aising” Adalim of .” or even slightly suggest that he is empowered to take personal custody of prisoners. Rule 114 provides: SEC. Edwin B. This was amply clarified by Asst. except that he shall hold office only during the term of office of the appointing governor and until a successor in the office of the jailer is appointed and qualified. administrative acts pertain only to those acts which are necessary to be done to carry out legislative policies and purposes already declared by the legislative body or such as are devolved upon it[38] by the Constitution. and the reports earlier received by this Department. 1998 addressed to petitioner Ambil. unless sooner separated. Eastern Samar Dear Sir: This has reference to the letter of Atty. Sec. Besides. as amended. But again. No release or transfer except on court order or bail. Sec. the power to order the release or transfer of a person under detention by legal process is vested in the court. Rule 114 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. under the direction of the provincial board and at the expense of the province. Section 3. The provincial governor shall. However.-No person under detention by legal process shall be released or transferred except upon order of the court or when he is admitted to bail. not in the provincial government. After all. much less the governor. supply proper food and clothing for the prisoners. in its discretion. Therefore.) This provision survived the advent of the Administrative Code of 1987.entitled to all the benefits and privileges of classified employees. What is clear from the cited provision is that the provincial governor’s duty as a jail keeper is confined to the administration of the jail and the procurement of food and clothing for the prisoners. though the provincial board may. Jr. 3. this provision has been superseded by Section 3. let the contract for the feeding of the prisoners to some other person. Asst. Ingeniero wrote: 06 October 1996 GOVERNOR RUPERTO AMBIL Provincial Capitol Borongan. (Emphasis supplied. nowhere did said provision designate the provincial governor as the “provincial jailer. Docena. Indubitably. the governor can only enforce the law but not supplant it. in the exercise of his administrative powers. the only reference to a transfer of prisoners in said article is found in Section 1737[39] under which prisoners may be turned over to the jail of the neighboring province in case the provincial jail be insecure or insufficient to accommodate all provincial prisoners.

Taft. Said section merely speaks of the power of supervision vested unto the provincial governor over provincial jails. In view of the foregoing.) JESUS I. Moreover. No. Jr. which mandates that an arrested person be delivered to the nearest police station or jail. include the power to take in custody any person in detention. administrative or judicial functions. you are hereby enjoined to conduct yourself within the bounds of law and to immediately deliver Mayor Adalim to the provincial jail in order to avoid legal complications. or (2) giving any private party any unwarranted benefits.[41] betray his unmistakable bias and the evident bad faith that attended his actions. insisted on his supposed authority as a “provincial jailer. If the report is true. it appears that your actuation is not in accord with the provision of Section 3. not to mention his open and willful defiance to official advice in order to accommodate a former political party mate. in order to hold a person liable for violation of Section 3(e). (SGD. . who has been previously arrested by virtue by a warrant of arrest issued in Criminal Case No. Very truly yours. advantage or preference in the discharge by the accused of his official. It does not. petitioner Ambil.A. including the government. 10963. R. definitely. 3019. that province. it is required that the act constituting the offense consist of either (1) causing undue injury to any party. Likewise amply established beyond reasonable doubt is the third element of the crime. invoking Section 61 of RA 6975 as legal basis in taking custody of the accused municipal mayor is misplaced. INGENIERO Assistant Secretary Still. Rule 113 of the Rules of Court. Please be guided accordingly. As mentioned above.” Said petitioner’s usurpation of the court's authority.

Jr. the Information specifically accused petitioners of giving unwarranted benefits and advantage to Mayor Adalim. 3019 defines a “public officer” to include elective and appointive officials and employees. Section 3(e) is not applicable to him allegedly because the last sentence thereof provides that the “provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses.A.*47+ Thus. No. 3019 in this case on two points. It is a strained construction of the provision to read it as applying exclusively to public officers charged with the duty of granting licenses or permits or other concessions. it appears that petitioner Ambil. a public officer charged with murder. Sandiganbayan. No. However. regarding petitioner Ambil. a private person simply pertains to one who is not a public officer. negates the applicability of Section 3(e). does the fact that Mayor Adalim was the recipient of such benefits take petitioners’ case beyond the ambit of said law? We believe not. Evidently. First. 3019 punishes the giving by a public officer of unwarranted benefits to a private party.) In the more recent case of Cruz v. advantage or preference for a reason.[44] we affirmed that a prosecution for violation of said provision will lie regardless of whether the accused public officer is charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions.A. the lawmakers opted to use “private party” rather than “private person” to describe the recipient of the unwarranted benefits. Jr. Petitioner Ambil.” Following is an excerpt of what we said in Mejorada.[45] Meanwhile. permanent or temporary. While a private party is more comprehensive in scope to . Section 2(b) of R. R. Second. Its reference to “any public officer” is without distinction or qualification and it specifies the acts declared unlawful. Jr. Mayor Adalim is one. if he is not altogether unaware. Section 3 cited above enumerates in eleven subsections the corrupt practices of any public officers (sic) declared unlawful. even nominal from the government. In drafting the Anti-Graft Law. No. by causing his release from prison and detaining him instead at the house of petitioner Ambil.A. The term “party” is a technical word having a precise meaning in legal parlance*46+ as distinguished from “person” which. as regards his first contention.[43] (Italics supplied. under the ordinary concept of “public officers” may not come within the term.’s second contention. whether in the classified or unclassified or exemption service receiving compensation. refers to a human being. the purported unwarranted benefit was accorded not to a private party but to a public officer. permits or other concessions” and he is not such government officer or employee. Jr. in general usage. Sandiganbayan[42] where we held that a prosecution for violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft Law will lie regardless of whether or not the accused public officer is “charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions. But considering that Section 3(e) of R. has obviously lost sight.In the case at hand. We agree with the view adopted by the Solicitor General that the last sentence of paragraph [Section 3] (e) is intended to make clear the inclusion of officers and employees of officers (sic) or government corporations which. of our ruling in Mejorada v.

Adalim was a private party. 3019. invokes the justifying circumstance of fulfillment of duty or lawful exercise of right or office. petitioners transferred Adalim and detained him in a place other than the provincial jail. provided better nourishment. in order to be found guilty under the second mode. Jr. To be sure. Jr. unjustified. No. choice or estimation above another. In the present case.’s residence. “Preference” signifies priority or higher evaluation or desirability. The foregoing. was free to move about the house and watch television. Jr.*50+ Both requisites are lacking in petitioner Ambil. For one.A. petitioner Ambil. but as a detainee charged with murder. unauthorized or without justification or adequate reason. a court order was still indispensable for his transfer. even if Adalim could have proven the presence of an imminent peril on his person to petitioners. even if we treat Akyatan’s gesture of raising a closed fist at Adalim as a threat of aggression. negates the application of the justifying circumstances claimed by petitioners. Petitioners readily extended these benefits to Adalim on the mere representation of his lawyers that the mayor’s life would be put in danger inside the provincial jail. for purposes of applying the provisions of Section 3(e). Article 11 of the RPC. they accorded such privilege to Adalim. it suffices that the accused has given unjustified favor or benefit to another in the exercise of his official.’s case.[49] Without a court order. any person who acts in the fulfillment of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office does not incur any criminal liability. and (2) the injury caused or the offense committed be the necessary consequence of the due performance of duty or the lawful exercise of such right or office. there were nipa huts within the perimeter fence of the jail which could have been used to separate Adalim from the rest of the prisoners while the isolation cell was undergoing repair. benefit from some course of action. R. the same would still not constitute a special and compelling reason to warrant Adalim’s detention outside the provincial jail.mean either a private person or a public officer acting in a private capacity to protect his personal interest.*48+ The word “unwarranted” means lacking adequate or official support. Thus. . Under paragraph 5.’s house. benefit. “Advantage” means a more favorable or improved position or condition. petitioners were unable to establish the existence of any risk on Adalim’s safety. when petitioners transferred Mayor Adalim from the provincial jail and detained him at petitioner Ambil. indeed. Yet. More importantly. not in his official capacity as a mayor. two requisites must be satisfied: (1) the accused acted in the performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office. Specifically. The latter was housed in much more comfortable quarters. administrative or judicial functions. As the Sandiganbayan ruled. the latter would not be alone in having unfriendly company in lockup. Jr. profit or gain of any kind. such repair could not have exceeded the 85 days that Adalim stayed in petitioner Ambil. In order for this justifying circumstance to apply. however. Anyhow. Moreover.

No. Jr. Thus. Sr. Needless to state. Sr. if the offense is punished by a special law. who was then Governor. Petitioner Apelado. indicating closeness of personal association. Sr. In his capacity as the Provincial Jail Warden of Eastern Samar. 3019 punishes a public officer or a private person who violates Section 3 of R.’s order to move Adalim from jail. As regards the penalty imposed upon petitioners. 3019 with imprisonment for not less than six (6) years and one (1) month to not more than fifteen (15) years and perpetual disqualification from public office. For this justifying circumstance to apply. Under paragraph 6. exceeded his authority when he ordered the transfer and detention of Adalim at his house.. the court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence. resulting in the violation charged. Jr. unarmed with a court order. and Apelado. (2) such order must be for some lawful purpose. Sr. makes them equally responsible as conspirators. concerted action and concurrence of sentiments. invokes the justifying circumstance of obedience to an order issued for some lawful purpose. Jr. This makes him liable as a principal by direct participation under Article 17(1)[52] of the RPC. the penalty imposed by the Sandiganbayan upon petitioner Ambil. Section 9(a) of R. eight (8) months and one (1) day to twelve (12) years and four (4) months is in accord .[51] Only the first requisite is present in this case. 4225. All said. one performing one part of and another performing another so as to complete it with a view to the attainment of the same object. and their acts although apparently independent were in fact concerted and cooperative. Jr. Sr. despite the absence of a court order. Jr.’s willful cooperation in executing petitioner Ambil. An accepted badge of conspiracy is when the accused by their acts aimed at the same object. neither said order nor the means employed by petitioner Apelado. of imprisonment for nine (9) years. the following requisites must be present: (1) an order has been issued by a superior. No. the maximum term of which shall not exceed the maximum fixed by said law and the minimum shall not be less than the minimum term prescribed by the same. petitioner Apelado. petitioner Apelado. The Rule requiring a court order to transfer a person under detention by legal process is elementary. fetched Mayor Adalim at the provincial jail and. transported him to the house of petitioner Ambil.A. In like manner. Article 11 of the RPC. any person who acts in obedience to an order issued by a superior for some lawful purpose does not incur any criminal liability.[53] Conspiracy was sufficiently demonstrated by petitioner Apelado. petitioner Ambil. While the order for Adalim’s transfer emanated from petitioner Ambil. the concerted acts of petitioners Ambil. cannot hide behind the cloak of ignorance of the law. 4103..As we have earlier determined. as amended by Act No.A. Truth be told. and (3) the means used by the subordinate to carry out said order is lawful. Sr. Under Section 1 of the Indeterminate Sentence Law or Act No. the resulting violation of the AntiGraft Law did not proceed from the due performance of his duty or lawful exercise of his office. to carry it out was lawful. a law graduate. even petitioner governor who is unschooled in the intricacies of the law expressed reservations on his power to transfer Adalim. Jr.

No. We find petitioners Ruperto A. eight (8) months and one (1) day to twelve (12) years and four (4) months. is. Jr.A. As a co-principal without the benefit of an incomplete justifying circumstance to his credit. Sr. The Decision of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. Apelado. likewise. WHEREFORE. sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment for nine (9) years. petitioner Apelado. With costs against the petitioners. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 3(e). Sr. R. Petitioner Alexandrino R. the consolidated petitions are DENIED. shall suffer the same penalty. Apelado. Sr. Ambil. and Alexandrino R. 3019. 25892 is AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION.with law. .