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Gelig vs.

People of the Philippines


FACTS:
Petitioner Lydia Gelig impugns the Decision promulgated by the Court of Appeals that vacated
and set aside the Decision of the RTC, Cebu City, Br23, RTC Decision convicted Lydia for
committing the complex crime of direct assault with unintentional abortion but the CA found her
guilty only of the crime of slight physical injuries.
Lydia and Gemma B. Micarsos, were public school. Lydia's son, Roseller, was a student of
Gemma at the time material to this case. On July 17, 1981, at around 10:00 o'clock in the
morning, Lydia confronted Gemma after learning from Roseller that Gemma called him a "sissy"
while in class. Lydia slapped Gemma in the cheek and pushed her, thereby causing her to fall and
hit a wall divider. As a result of Lydia's violent assault, Gemma suffered a contusion in her
"maxillary area", as shown by a medical certificate issued by a doctor in the Bogo General
Hospital. However, Gemma continued to experience abdominal pains and started bleeding two
days after the incident. On August28, 1981, she was admitted in the Southern Islands Hospital
and was diagnosed, to her surprise, to have suffered incomplete abortion. Accordingly,a medical
certificate was issued.
ISSUES:
1. WON the Honorable Court of Appeals erred in finding that the petitioner is liable for Slight
Physical Injuries pursuant to Article 266 (1) of the Revised Penal .
2. WON the Honorable Court of Appeals erred in finding that the petitioner can be convicted of
Slight Physical Injuries under the information charging her for Direct Assault with Unintentional
Abortion.
HELD:
1. Liable for Direct Assault It is clear from the foregoing provision that direct assault is an
offense against public order that may be committed in two ways: first, by any person or persons
who, without a public uprising, shall employ force or intimidation for the attainment of any of the
purposes enumerated in defining the crimes of rebellion and sedition; and second, by any person
or persons who, without a public uprising, shall attack, employ force, or seriously intimidate or
resist any person in authority or any of his agents, while engaged in the performance of official
duties, or on occasion of such performance.
On the day of the commission of the assault, Gemma was engaged in the performance of her
official duties, that is, she was busy with paperwork while supervising and looking after the needs
of pupils who are taking their recess in the classroom to which she was assigned. Lydia was
already angry when she entered the classroom and accused Gemma of calling her son a "sissy".
Lydia refused to be pacified despite the efforts of Gemma and instead initiated a verbal abuse that
enraged the victim. Gemma then proceeded towards the principal's office but Lydia followed and
resorted to the use of force by slapping and pushing her against a wall divider. The violent act
resulted in Gemma's fall to the floor. Gemma being a public school teacher, belongs to the class
of persons in authority expressly mentioned in Article 152 of the Revised Penal Code, as

amended.
2. NOT liable of Unintetional Abortion - There is no evidence on record to prove that the slapping
and pushing of Gemma by Lydia that occurred on July 17, 1981 was the proximate cause of the
abortion. While the medical certificate of Gemma's attending physician, Dr. Susan Jaca (Dr.
Jaca),was presented to the court to prove that she suffered an abortion, there is no data in the
document to prove that her medical condition was a direct consequence of the July 17, 1981
incident. It was therefore vital for the prosecution to present Dr. Jaca since she was competent to
establish a link, if any, between Lydia's assault and Gemma's abortion. Without her testimony,
there is no way to ascertain the exact effect of the assault on Gemma's abortion.
People vs. Walpan Ladjaalam y Milapil
FACTS:
The trial court found the appelant guilty of maintaining a drug den, an offense for which was
sentenced to reclusion perpetua. Appelants guilt was established by the testimony of Prosecution
Witness , who himself had used the extension house of appellant as a drug den on several
occasions, including the time of the raid. The formers testimony was corroborated by all the
raiding police officers who testified before the court. That appelant did not deny ownership of the
house and its extension lent credence to the prosecutions story.
The trial court also convicted appellant of direct assault with multiple counts of attempted
homicide. It found that [t]he act of the accused [of] firing an M14 rifle [at] the policemen[,] who
were about to enter his house to serve a search warrant x x x constituted such complex crime.
Aside from finding appellant guilty of direct assault with multiple attempted homicide, the trial
court convicted him also of the separate offense of illegal possession of firearms under PD 1866,
as amended by RA 8294, and sentenced him to 6 years of prision correccional to 8 years of
prision mayor.
ISSUE:
Whether or not appellant can be convicted separately of illegal possession of firearms after using
said firearm in the commission of another crime.
HELD:
NO. The appealed Decision was affirmed with modifications. Appellant is found guilty only of
two offenses: (1) direct assault and multiple attempted homicide with the use of a weapon and (2)
maintaining a drug den.
RATIO:
The law is clear: the accused can be convicted of simple illegal possession of firearms, provided
that no other crime was committed by the person arrested. If the intention of the law in the
second paragraph were to refer only to homicide and murder, it should have expressly said so, as

it did in the third paragraph. Verily, where the law does not distinguish, neither should [the
courts].
The Court is aware that this ruling effectively exonerates appellant of illegal possession of an M14 rifle, an offense which normally carries a penalty heavier than that for direct assault. While the
penalty for the first is prision mayor, for the second it is only prision correccional. Indeed, the
accused may evade conviction for illegal possession of firearms by using such weapons in
committing an even lighter offense, like alarm and scandal or slight physical injuries, both of
which are punishable by arresto menor. This consequence, however, necessarily arises from the
language of RA 8294, whose wisdom is not subject to the Courts review. Any perception that the
result reached here appears unwise should be addressed to Congress. Indeed, the Court has no
discretion to give statutes a new meaning detached from the manifest intendment and language of
the legislature. [The Courts] task is constitutionally confined only to applying the law and
jurisprudence to the proven facts, and [this Court] have done so in this case.
Soria vs Desierto
Facts:
Petitioners Rodolfo Soria and Edimar Bista were arrested on May 13, 2001 (a Sunday and the day
before May 14 elections) without a warrant by respondents for alleged illegal possession of
firearms and ammunition. One police identified Bista to have a standing warrant of arrest for
violation of BP Blg. 6.From the time of Sorias detention up to the time of his release, 22 hours
had already elapsed and Bista was detained for 26 days.
The crimes for which Soria was arrested without warrant are punishable by correctional penalties
or their equivalent, thus, criminal complaints or information should be filed with the proper
judicial authorities within 18 hours of his arrest. The crimes for which Bista was arrested are
punishable by afflictive or capital penalties, or their equivalent, thus, he could only be detained
for 36 hours without criminal complaints or information having been filed with the proper judicial
authorities.
Article 125 stated that Delay in the delivery of detained persons to the proper judicial authorities.
- The penalties provided in the next preceding article shall be imposed upon the public officer or
employee who shall detain any person for some legal ground and shall fail to deliver such person
to the proper judicial authorities within the period of: twelve (12) hours, for crimes or offenses
punishable by light penalties, or their equivalent; eighteen (18) hours, for crimes or offenses
punishable by correctional penalties, or their equivalent; and thirty-six (36) hours, for crimes or
offenses punishable by afflictive or capital penalties, or their equivalent.
Petitioners filed with the Office of the Ombudsman for Military Affairs a complaint-affidavit for
violation of Art. 125 of the Revised Penal Code against herein private respondents. The office
dismissed the complaint for lack of merit. Petitioners then filed their motion for reconsideration
which was denied for lack of merit in the second assailed Resolution.

Issue:
W/O officers of the Office of the Ombudsman gravely abused their discretion in dismissing the
complaint for violation of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code (Delay in the delivery of
detained persons)
Held:
Grave abuse of discretion is such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment on the part of
the public officer concerned which is equivalent to an excess or lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of
discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual
refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law.
No grave abuse of discretion can be attributed to the respondents. Their disposition of petitioners'
complaint for violation of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code cannot be said to have been
conjured out of thin air as it was properly backed up by law and jurisprudence.
Regarding the complaint of Soria, based on applicable laws and jurisprudence, an election day or
a special holiday, should not be included in the computation of the period prescribed by law for
the filing of complaint/information in courts in cases of warrantless arrests, it being a 'no-office
day. Hence, there could be no arbitrary detention or violation of Article 125 of the Revised Penal
Code.
In the same vein, the complaint of Bista against the respondents for Violation of Article 125, will
not prosper because the running of the thirty-six (36)-hour period prescribed by law for the filing
of the complaint against him from the time of his arrest was tolled by one day (election day).
Moreover, he has a standing warrant of arrest for Violation of B.P. Blg. 6 and he could only be
released if he has no other pending criminal case requiring his continuous detention.
Leviste vs. Alameda
Facts:
On January 16, 2007, an Information was filed against Jose Antonio Leviste charging him with
homicide for the death of Rafael de las Alas on January 12, 2007 before the RTC of Makati. The
private complainants-heirs of de las Alas filed an Urgent Omnibus Motion praying for the
deferment of the proceedings to allow the public prosecutor to re-examine the evidence on record
or to conduct a reinvestigation to determine the proper offense. The RTC thereafter issued the
Order granting the motion by the complainants, thus, allowing the prosecution to conduct a
reinvestigation. Later, the trial court issued the other order that admitted the Amended
Information for murder and directed the issuance of a warrant of arrest. Petitioner questioned
these two orders before the appellate court.
Upon arraignment, the petitioner refused to plead. The trial court entered the plea of "not guilty"
for him. Prior to this, the petitioner filed an Urgent Application for Admission to Bail Ex
Abundanti Cautela, which the trial court granted on the ground that the evidence of guilt of the
crime of murder is not strong. The trial court went on to try the petitioner under the Amended
Information. Then, the trial court found the petitioner guilty of homicide. From the trial court's

decision, the petitioner filed an appeal to the CA. The appellate court confirmed the decision of
the trial court. The petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied. Hence, this petition to the
SC.
Issue:
Whether or not the amendment of the Information from homicide to murder is considered a
substantial amendment, which would make it not just a right but a duty of the prosecution to ask
for a preliminary investigation.

Held:
Yes. A substantial amendment consists of the recital of facts constituting the offense charged and
determinative of the jurisdiction of the court. All other matters are merely of form. The test as to
whether a defendant is prejudiced by the amendment is whether a defense under the information
as it originally stood would be available after the amendment is made, and whether any evidence
defendant might have would be equally applicable to the information in the one form as in the
other.
An amendment to an information which does not change the nature of the crime alleged therein
does not affect the essence of the offense or cause surprise or deprive the accused of an
opportunity to meet the new averment had each been held to be one of form and not of substance.
here is no substantial distinction between a preliminary investigation and a reinvestigation since
both are conducted in the same manner and for the same objective of determining whether there
exists sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and
the respondent is probably guilty thereof and should be held for trial.
What is essential is that petitioner was placed on guard to defend himself from the charge of
murder after the claimed circumstances were made known to him as early as the first motion.
Petitioner did not, however, make much of the opportunity to present countervailing evidence on
the proposed amended charge. Despite notice of hearing, petitioner opted to merely observe the
proceedings and declined to actively participate, even with extreme caution, in the
reinvestigation.
Summary Dismissal Board v. Torcita
Facts:
On 26 April 1994, a red Cortina Ford, driven by C/Insp. Lazaro Torcita, with his aide, PO2 Java,
in the front seat and his wife with two ladies at the backseat, were overtaken by a Mazda pick-up
owned by Congressman Manuel Puey and driven by one Reynaldo Consejo with four (4)
passengers in the persons of Alex Edwin del Rosario, Rosita Bistal, Carmen Braganza and
Cristina Dawa. After the Mazda pick-up has overtaken the red Cortina Ford, and after a vehicular
collision almost took place, it accelerated speed and proceeded to Hacienda Aimee, a sugarcane
plantation owned by the congressman. The red Cortina Ford followed also at high speed until it
reached the hacienda where Torcita and Java alighted and the confrontation with del Rosario and

Jesus Puey occurred. Torcita identified himself but the same had no effect. PO2 Java whispered to
him that there are armed men around them and that it is dangerous for them to continue. That at
this point, they radioed for back-up. Torcita,upon the arrival of the back-up force of PNP Cadiz
City, proceeded to the place where Capt. Jesus Puey and Alex Edwin del Rosario were.
On 6 July 1994, 12 verified administrative complaints were filed against Torcita for Conduct
Unbecoming of a Police Officer, Illegal Search, Grave Abuse of Authority and Violation of
Domicile, and Abuse of Authority and Violation of COMELEC Gun Ban. The 12 administrative
complaints were consolidated into 1 major complaint for conduct unbecoming of a police officer.
The Summary Dismissal Board, however, did not find sufficient evidence to establish that Torcita
threatened anybody with a gun, nor that a serious confrontation took place between the parties,
nor that the urinating incident took place, and held that the charges of violation of domicile and
illegal search were not proven. Still, while the Board found that Torcita was "in the performance
of his official duties" when the incident happened, he allegedly committed a simple irregularity in
performance of duty (for being in the influence of alcohol while in performance of duty) and was
suspended for 20 days and salary suspended for the same period of time.
Torcita appealed his conviction to the Regional Appellate Board of the Philippine National Police
(PNP, Region VI, Iloilo City), but the appeal was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Whereupon,
Torcita filed a petition for certiorari in the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City (Branch 31),
questioning the legality of the conviction of an offense for which he was not charged (lack of
procedural due process of law). The Board filed a motion to dismiss, which was denied. The RTC
granted the petition for certiorari and annulled the dispositive portion of the questioned decision
insofar as it found Torcita guilty of simple irregularity in the performance of duty. The Board
appealed from the RTC decision, by petition of review to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed
the same for the reason that the respondent could not have been guilty of irregularity considering
that the 12 cases were eventually dismissed. The Board filed the petition for review on certiorari
before the Supreme Court.
Issue:
Whether Torcita may be proceeded against or suspended for breach of internal discipline, when
the original charges against him were for Conduct Unbecoming of a Police Officer, Illegal
Search, Grave Abuse of Authority and Violation of Domicile, and Abuse of Authority and
Violation of COMELEC Gun Ban.
Held:
Notification of the charges contemplates that the respondent be informed of the specific charges
against him. The absence of specification of the offense for which he was eventually found guilty
is not a proper observance of due process. There can be no short-cut to the legal process. While
the definition of the more serious offense is broad, and almost all-encompassing a finding of guilt
for an offense, no matter how light, for which one is not properly charged and tried cannot be
countenanced without violating the rudimentary requirements of due process. Herein, the 12
administrative cases filed against Torcita did not include charges or offenses mentioned or made
reference to the specific act of being drunk while in the performance of official duty. There is no

indication or warning at all in the summary dismissal proceedings that Torcita was also being
charged with breach of internal discipline consisting of taking alcoholic drinks while in the
performance of his duties. The omission is fatal to the validity of the judgment finding him guilty
of the offense for which he was not notified nor charged. Further, the cursory conclusion of the
Dismissal Board that Torcita "committed breach of internal discipline by taking drinks while in
the performance of same" should have been substantiated by factual findings referring to this
particular offense. Even if he was prosecuted for irregular performance of duty, he could not have
been found to have the odor or smell of alcohol while in the performance of duty because he was
not on duty at the time that he had a taste of liquor; he was on a private trip fetching his wife.